Mapping the Galactic halo. III. Simulated observations of tidal streams

Paul Harding, Heather L. Morrison, Edward W Olszewski, John Arabadjis, Mario Mateo, R. C. Dohm-Palmer, Kenneth C. Freeman, John E. Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have simulated the evolution of tidal debris in the Galactic halo in order to guide our ongoing survey to determine the fraction of halo mass accreted via satellite infall. Contrary to naive expectations that the satellite debris will produce a single narrow velocity peak on a smooth distribution, there are many different signatures of substructure, including multiple peaks and broad but asymmetrical velocity distributions. Observations of the simulations show that there is a high probability of detecting the presence of tidal debris with a pencil-beam survey of 100 deg2. In the limiting case of a single 107 M satellite contributing 1% of the luminous halo mass the detection probability is a few percent using just the velocities of 100 halo stars in a single 1 deg2 field. The detection probabilities scale with the accreted fraction of the halo and the number of fields surveyed. There is also surprisingly little dependence of the detection probabilities on the time since the satellite became tidally disrupted, or on the initial orbit of the satellite, except for the time spent in the survey volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1397-1419
Number of pages23
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume122
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2001

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galactic halos
halos
debris
pencil beams
substructures
velocity distribution
signatures
orbits
stars
simulation
detection
distribution

Keywords

  • Galaxy: formation
  • Galaxy: halo
  • Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Harding, P., Morrison, H. L., Olszewski, E. W., Arabadjis, J., Mateo, M., Dohm-Palmer, R. C., ... Norris, J. E. (2001). Mapping the Galactic halo. III. Simulated observations of tidal streams. Astronomical Journal, 122(3), 1397-1419. https://doi.org/10.1086/322995

Mapping the Galactic halo. III. Simulated observations of tidal streams. / Harding, Paul; Morrison, Heather L.; Olszewski, Edward W; Arabadjis, John; Mateo, Mario; Dohm-Palmer, R. C.; Freeman, Kenneth C.; Norris, John E.

In: Astronomical Journal, Vol. 122, No. 3, 09.2001, p. 1397-1419.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harding, P, Morrison, HL, Olszewski, EW, Arabadjis, J, Mateo, M, Dohm-Palmer, RC, Freeman, KC & Norris, JE 2001, 'Mapping the Galactic halo. III. Simulated observations of tidal streams', Astronomical Journal, vol. 122, no. 3, pp. 1397-1419. https://doi.org/10.1086/322995
Harding P, Morrison HL, Olszewski EW, Arabadjis J, Mateo M, Dohm-Palmer RC et al. Mapping the Galactic halo. III. Simulated observations of tidal streams. Astronomical Journal. 2001 Sep;122(3):1397-1419. https://doi.org/10.1086/322995
Harding, Paul ; Morrison, Heather L. ; Olszewski, Edward W ; Arabadjis, John ; Mateo, Mario ; Dohm-Palmer, R. C. ; Freeman, Kenneth C. ; Norris, John E. / Mapping the Galactic halo. III. Simulated observations of tidal streams. In: Astronomical Journal. 2001 ; Vol. 122, No. 3. pp. 1397-1419.
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