skip to main content

Title: WEAK GALACTIC HALO-DWARF SPHEROIDAL CONNECTION FROM RR LYRAE STARS

We discuss the role that dwarf galaxies may have played in the formation of the Galactic halo (Halo) using RR Lyrae stars (RRL) as tracers of their ancient stellar component. The comparison is performed using two observables (periods, luminosity amplitudes) that are reddening and distance independent. Fundamental mode RRL in 6 dwarf spheroidals (dSphs) and 11 ultra faint dwarf galaxies (∼1300) show a Gaussian period distribution well peaked around a mean period of (Pab) = 0.610 ± 0.001 days (σ = 0.03). The Halo RRL (∼15,000) are characterized by a broader period distribution. The fundamental mode RRL in all the dSphs apart from Sagittarius are completely lacking in High Amplitude Short Period (HASP) variables, defined as those having P ≲ 0.48 days and A{sub V} ≥ 0.75 mag. Such variables are not uncommon in the Halo and among the globular clusters and massive dwarf irregulars. To further interpret this evidence, we considered 18 globulars covering a broad range in metallicity (–2.3 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ –1.1) and hosting more than 35 RRL each. The metallicity turns out to be the main parameter, since only globulars more metal-rich than [Fe/H] ∼ –1.5 host RRL in the HASP region. This finding suggests that dSphs similar to the surviving ones do not appear to be themore » major building-blocks of the Halo. Leading physical arguments suggest an extreme upper limit of ∼50% to their contribution. On the other hand, massive dwarfs hosting an old population with a broad metallicity distribution (Large Magellanic Cloud, Sagittarius) may have played a primary role in the formation of the Halo.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, I-40127 Bologna (Italy)
  2. Dipartimento di Fisica, Universitá di Roma Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, I-00133 Roma (Italy)
  3. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Calle Via Lactea s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)
  4. National Research Council, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7 (Canada)
  5. Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Postbus 800, 9700 AV Groningen (Netherlands)
  6. Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University IC2, Liverpool Science Park, 146 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L35RF (United Kingdom)
  7. SUPA, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364745
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 798; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AMPLITUDES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; LUMINOSITY; MAGELLANIC CLOUDS; METALLICITY; STAR CLUSTERS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS