Robust velocity dispersion and binary population modeling of the ultra-faint dwarf galaxy Reticulum II

30 Oct 2018  ·  Minor Quinn E., Pace Andrew B., Marshall Jennifer L., Strigari Louis E. ·

We apply a Bayesian method to model multi-epoch radial velocity measurements in the ultra-faint dwarf galaxy Reticulum II, fully accounting for the effects of binary orbital motion and systematic offsets between different spectroscopic datasets. We find that the binary fraction of Ret II is higher than 0.5 at the 90% confidence level, if the mean orbital period is assumed to be 30 years or longer... Despite this high binary fraction, we infer a best-fit intrinsic dispersion of 2.8$_{-1.2}^{+0.7}$ km/s, which is smaller than previous estimates, but still indicates Ret II is a dark-matter dominated galaxy. We likewise infer a $\lesssim$ 1% probability that Ret II's dispersion is due to binaries rather than dark matter, corresponding to the regime $M_{\odot}/L_{\odot} \lesssim$ 2. Our inference of a high close binary fraction in Ret II echoes previous results for the Segue 1 ultra-faint dwarf and is consistent with studies of Milky Way halo stars that indicate a high close binary fraction tends to exist in metal-poor environments. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies