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Title: The Milky Way’s stellar streams and globular clusters do not align in a Vast Polar Structure

Abstract

ABSTRACT There is increasing evidence that a substantial fraction of Milky Way satellite galaxies align in a rotationally supported plane of satellites, a rare configuration in cosmological simulations of galaxy formation. It has been suggested that other Milky Way substructures (namely young halo globular clusters and stellar/gaseous streams) similarly tend to align with this plane, accordingly dubbed the Vast Polar Structure (VPOS). Using systemic proper motions inferred from Gaia data, we find that globular cluster orbital poles are not clustered in the VPOS direction, though the population with the highest VPOS membership fraction is the young halo clusters (∼30 per cent). We additionally provide a current census of stellar streams, including new streams discovered using the Dark Energy Survey and Gaia data sets, and find that stellar stream normals are also not clustered in the direction of the VPOS normal. We also find that, based on orbit modelling, there is a likely association between NGC 3201 and the Gjöll stellar stream and that, based on its orbital pole, NGC 4147 is likely not a Sagittarius globular cluster. That the Milky Way’s accreted globular clusters and streams do not align in the same planar configuration as its satellites suggests that the plane ofmore » satellites is either a particularly stable orbital configuration or a population of recently accreted satellites. Neither of these explanations is particularly likely in light of other recent studies, leaving the plane of satellites problem as one of the more consequential open problems in galaxy formation and cosmology.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1608501
Grant/Contract Number:  
de-sc0010813
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Journal Volume: 494 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Riley, Alexander H., and Strigari, Louis E. The Milky Way’s stellar streams and globular clusters do not align in a Vast Polar Structure. United Kingdom: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa710.
Riley, Alexander H., & Strigari, Louis E. The Milky Way’s stellar streams and globular clusters do not align in a Vast Polar Structure. United Kingdom. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa710
Riley, Alexander H., and Strigari, Louis E. Sat . "The Milky Way’s stellar streams and globular clusters do not align in a Vast Polar Structure". United Kingdom. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa710.
@article{osti_1608501,
title = {The Milky Way’s stellar streams and globular clusters do not align in a Vast Polar Structure},
author = {Riley, Alexander H. and Strigari, Louis E.},
abstractNote = {ABSTRACT There is increasing evidence that a substantial fraction of Milky Way satellite galaxies align in a rotationally supported plane of satellites, a rare configuration in cosmological simulations of galaxy formation. It has been suggested that other Milky Way substructures (namely young halo globular clusters and stellar/gaseous streams) similarly tend to align with this plane, accordingly dubbed the Vast Polar Structure (VPOS). Using systemic proper motions inferred from Gaia data, we find that globular cluster orbital poles are not clustered in the VPOS direction, though the population with the highest VPOS membership fraction is the young halo clusters (∼30 per cent). We additionally provide a current census of stellar streams, including new streams discovered using the Dark Energy Survey and Gaia data sets, and find that stellar stream normals are also not clustered in the direction of the VPOS normal. We also find that, based on orbit modelling, there is a likely association between NGC 3201 and the Gjöll stellar stream and that, based on its orbital pole, NGC 4147 is likely not a Sagittarius globular cluster. That the Milky Way’s accreted globular clusters and streams do not align in the same planar configuration as its satellites suggests that the plane of satellites is either a particularly stable orbital configuration or a population of recently accreted satellites. Neither of these explanations is particularly likely in light of other recent studies, leaving the plane of satellites problem as one of the more consequential open problems in galaxy formation and cosmology.},
doi = {10.1093/mnras/staa710},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
number = 1,
volume = 494,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa710

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EVIDENCE FOR A MILKY WAY TIDAL STREAM REACHING BEYOND 100 kpc
journal, February 2013


Proper motions and dynamics of the Milky Way globular cluster system from Gaia DR2
journal, January 2019

  • Vasiliev, Eugene
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 484, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz171

A new spin on discs of satellite galaxies
journal, April 2015

  • Cautun, Marius; Wang, Wenting; Frenk, Carlos S.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 449, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv490

On the stability of satellite planes – I. Effects of mass, velocity, halo shape and alignment
journal, October 2016

  • Fernando, Nuwanthika; Arias, Veronica; Guglielmo, Magda
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 465, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw2694