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A Globular Cluster toward M87 with a Radial Velocity < - 1000 km s-1: The First Hypervelocity Cluster


Caldwell, N; Strader, J; Romanowsky, A J; Brodie, J P; Moore, B; Diemand, J; Martizzi, D (2013). A Globular Cluster toward M87 with a Radial Velocity < - 1000 km s-1: The First Hypervelocity Cluster. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 787:1-5.

Abstract

We report the discovery of an object near M87 in the Virgo Cluster with an extraordinary blueshift of -1025 km s-1, offset from the systemic velocity by >2300 km s-1. Evaluation of photometric and spectroscopic data provides strong evidence that this object is a distant massive globular cluster, which we call HVGC-1 in analogy to Galactic hypervelocity stars. We consider but disfavor more exotic interpretations, such as a system of stars bound to a recoiling black hole. The odds of observing an outlier as extreme as HVGC-1 in a virialized distribution of intracluster objects are small; it appears more likely that the cluster was (or is being) ejected from Virgo following a three-body interaction. The nature of the interaction is unclear, and could involve either a subhalo or a binary supermassive black hole at the center of M87.

Abstract

We report the discovery of an object near M87 in the Virgo Cluster with an extraordinary blueshift of -1025 km s-1, offset from the systemic velocity by >2300 km s-1. Evaluation of photometric and spectroscopic data provides strong evidence that this object is a distant massive globular cluster, which we call HVGC-1 in analogy to Galactic hypervelocity stars. We consider but disfavor more exotic interpretations, such as a system of stars bound to a recoiling black hole. The odds of observing an outlier as extreme as HVGC-1 in a virialized distribution of intracluster objects are small; it appears more likely that the cluster was (or is being) ejected from Virgo following a three-body interaction. The nature of the interaction is unclear, and could involve either a subhalo or a binary supermassive black hole at the center of M87.

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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:May 2013
Deposited On:13 Aug 2014 14:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:01
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:2041-8205
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/787/1/L11

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