skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Binary populations in Milky Way satellite galaxies: Constraints from multi-epoch data in the Carina, Fornax, Sculptor, and Sextans dwarf spheroidal galaxies

We introduce a likelihood analysis of multi-epoch stellar line-of-sight velocities to constrain the binary fractions and binary period distributions of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. This method is applied to multi-epoch data from the Magellan/MMFS survey of the Carina, Fornax, Sculptor, and Sextans dSph galaxies, after applying a model for the measurement errors that accounts for binary orbital motion. We find that the Fornax, Sculptor, and Sextans dSphs are consistent with having binary populations similar to that of Milky Way field binaries to within 68% confidence limits, whereas the Carina dSph is remarkably deficient in binaries with periods less than ∼10 yr. If Carina is assumed to have a period distribution identical to that of the Milky Way field, its best-fit binary fraction is 0.14{sub −0.05}{sup +0.28}, and is constrained to be less than 0.5 at the 90% confidence level; thus it is unlikely to host a binary population identical to that of the Milky Way field. By contrast, the best-fit binary fraction of the combined sample of all four galaxies is 0.46{sub −0.09}{sup +0.13}, consistent with that of Milky Way field binaries. More generally, we infer probability distributions in binary fraction, mean orbital period, and dispersion of periods for each galaxymore » in the sample. Looking ahead to future surveys, we show that the allowed parameter space of binary fraction and period distribution parameters in dSphs will be narrowed significantly by a large multi-epoch survey. However, there is a degeneracy between the parameters that is unlikely to be broken unless the measurement error is of order ∼0.1 km s{sup –1} or smaller, presently attainable only by a high-resolution spectrograph.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Science, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, New York, NY 10007 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348452
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 779; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DISPERSIONS; DISTRIBUTION; ERRORS; LIMITING VALUES; MILKY WAY; PROBABILITY; RESOLUTION; SATELLITES; SPACE; VELOCITY