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The stellar structure and kinematics of dwarf spheroidal galaxies formed by tidal stirring


Lokas, E L; Kazantzidis, S; Klimentowski, J; Mayer, L; Callegari, S (2010). The stellar structure and kinematics of dwarf spheroidal galaxies formed by tidal stirring. Astrophysical Journal, 708(2):1032-1047.

Abstract

Using high-resolution N-body simulations, we study the stellar properties of dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies resulting from the tidally induced morphological transformation of disky dwarfs on a cosmologically motivated eccentric orbit around the Milky Way. The dwarf galaxy models initially consist of an exponential stellar disk embedded in an extended spherical dark matter halo. Depending on the initial orientation of the disk with respect to the orbital plane, different final configurations are obtained. The least evolved dwarf is triaxial and retains a significant amount of rotation. The more evolved dwarfs are prolate spheroids with little rotation. We show that in this scenario the final density distribution of stars can be approximated by a simple modification of the Plummer law. The kinematics of the dwarfs is significantly different depending on the line of sight which has important implications for mapping the observed stellar velocity dispersions of dwarfs to subhalo circular velocities. When the dwarfs are observed along the long axis, the measured velocity dispersion is higher and decreases faster with radius. In the case where rotation is significant, when viewed perpendicular to the long axis, the effect of minor axis rotation is detected, as expected for triaxial systems. We model the velocity dispersion profiles and rotation curves of the dwarfs under the assumption of constant mass-to-light ratio by solving the Jeans equations for spherical and axisymmetric systems and adjusting different sets of free parameters, including the total mass. We find that the mass is typically overestimated when the dwarf is seen along the long axis and underestimated when the observation is along the short or intermediate axis. For the studied cases, the effect of non-sphericity cannot, however, bias the inferred mass by more than 60% in either direction, even for the most strongly stripped dwarf which is close to disruption.

Using high-resolution N-body simulations, we study the stellar properties of dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies resulting from the tidally induced morphological transformation of disky dwarfs on a cosmologically motivated eccentric orbit around the Milky Way. The dwarf galaxy models initially consist of an exponential stellar disk embedded in an extended spherical dark matter halo. Depending on the initial orientation of the disk with respect to the orbital plane, different final configurations are obtained. The least evolved dwarf is triaxial and retains a significant amount of rotation. The more evolved dwarfs are prolate spheroids with little rotation. We show that in this scenario the final density distribution of stars can be approximated by a simple modification of the Plummer law. The kinematics of the dwarfs is significantly different depending on the line of sight which has important implications for mapping the observed stellar velocity dispersions of dwarfs to subhalo circular velocities. When the dwarfs are observed along the long axis, the measured velocity dispersion is higher and decreases faster with radius. In the case where rotation is significant, when viewed perpendicular to the long axis, the effect of minor axis rotation is detected, as expected for triaxial systems. We model the velocity dispersion profiles and rotation curves of the dwarfs under the assumption of constant mass-to-light ratio by solving the Jeans equations for spherical and axisymmetric systems and adjusting different sets of free parameters, including the total mass. We find that the mass is typically overestimated when the dwarf is seen along the long axis and underestimated when the observation is along the short or intermediate axis. For the studied cases, the effect of non-sphericity cannot, however, bias the inferred mass by more than 60% in either direction, even for the most strongly stripped dwarf which is close to disruption.

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29 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:January 2010
Deposited On:02 Mar 2011 09:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:09
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing
ISSN:0004-637X
Publisher DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1032
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/0906.5084
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-34404

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