Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1307.1865 (Valery Rashkov et al.)

A "Light", Centrally-Concentrated Milky Way Halo?    [PDF]

Valery Rashkov, Annalisa Pillepich, Alis J. Deason, Piero Madau, Constance M. Rockosi, Javiera Guedes, Lucio Mayer
We discuss a novel approach to "weighing" the Milky Way dark matter halo, one that combines the latest samples of halo stars selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) with state-of-the-art numerical simulations of Milky Way analogs. The fully cosmological runs employed in the present study include "Eris", one of the highest-resolution hydrodynamical simulations of the formation of a M_vir=8e11 M_sun late-type spiral, and the dark-matter only M_vir=1.7e12 M_sun "Via Lactea II" simulation. Eris provides an excellent laboratory for creating mock SDSS samples of tracer halo stars, and we successfully compare their density, velocity anisotropy, and radial velocity dispersion profiles with the observational data. Most mock SDSS realizations show the same "cold veil" recently observed in the distant stellar halo of the Milky Way, with tracers as cold as sigma_los ~ 50 km/s between 100-150 kpc. Controlled experiments based on the integration of the spherical Jeans equation as well as a particle tagging technique applied to Via Lactea II show that a "heavy" M_vir 2e12 M_sun realistic host produces a poor fit to the kinematic SDSS data. We argue that these results offer added evidence for a "light", centrally-concentrated Milky Way halo.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.1865

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