Thursday, June 20, 2013

1306.4336 (M. -R. L. Cioni et al.)

The VMC survey -IX. Pilot study of the proper motion of stellar populations in the LMC from 2MASS and VISTA data    [PDF]

M. -R. L. Cioni, L. Girardi, M. I. Moretti, T. Piffl, V. Ripepi, S. Rubele, R. -D. Scholz, K. Bekki, G. Clementini, V. D. Ivanov, J. M. Oliveira, J. Th. van Loon
We use multi-epoch near-infrared observations from the VISTA survey of the Magellanic Cloud system (VMC) to measure the proper motion of stars of the LMC, in one tile of 1.5 deg^2 centred at (alpha, delta) = (05:59:23.136, -66:20:28.68) and including the South Ecliptic Pole, with respect to their 2MASS position over a time baseline of ~10 years and from VMC observations only, spanning a time range of ~1 year. Stars of different ages are selected from the (J-Ks) vs. Ks diagram and their average coordinate displacement is computed from the difference between Ks band observations for stars as faint as Ks=19 mag. Proper motions are derived by averaging up to seven 2MASS-VMC combinations in the first case and from the slope of the best fit line among the seven VMC epochs in the second case. Separate proper motion values are obtained for variable stars in the field. The proper motion of ~40,000 LMC stars in the tile, with respect to ~8000 background galaxies, obtained from VMC data alone, is mu_alpha cos(delta) = +2.20+/-0.06 (stat) +/-0.29 (sys) and mu_delta = +1.70+/-0.06 (stat) +/-0.30 (sys) mas/yr. This value is in excellent agreement with previous measurements in a nearby field and is independent from 2MASS-VMC systematics, colour, magnitude and position. It is also clearly distinct from the proper motion derived for stars of the Milky Way. The relative proper motion between the foreground stars and the LMC stars is ~5 mas/yr. Furthermore, we measure a decrease of the proper motion with increasing logarithm of stellar age for LMC stars. This study, based on just one VMC tile, shows the potential of the 2MASS-VMC and VMC-VMC combinations for a comprehensive investigation of the proper motion across the Magellanic system. (Abridged)
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