Volume 527, March 2011
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||21 January 2011|
Distant star clusters of the Milky Way in MOND
Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS),
PO Box 11365-9161,
2 Argelander Institute for Astronomy (AIfA), Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
Accepted: 1 December 2010
We determine the mean velocity dispersion of six Galactic outer halo globular clusters, AM 1, Eridanus, Pal 3, Pal 4, Pal 15, and Arp 2 in the weak acceleration regime to test classical vs. modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND). Owing to the nonlinearity of MOND’s Poisson equation, beyond tidal effects, the internal dynamics of clusters is affected by the external field in which they are immersed. For the studied clusters, particle accelerations are much lower than the critical acceleration a0 of MOND, but the motion of stars is neither dominated by internal accelerations (ai ≫ ae) nor external accelerations (ae ≫ ai). We use the N-body code N-MODY in our analysis, which is a particle-mesh-based code with a numerical MOND potential solver developed by Ciotti et al. (2006, ApJ, 640, 741) to derive the line-of-sight velocity dispersion by adding the external field effect. We show that Newtonian dynamics predicts a low-velocity dispersion for each cluster, while in modified Newtonian dynamics the velocity dispersion is much higher. We calculate the minimum number of measured stars necessary to distinguish between Newtonian gravity and MOND with the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. We also show that for most clusters it is necessary to measure the velocities of between 30 to 80 stars to distinguish between both cases. Therefore the observational measurement of the line-of-sight velocity dispersion of these clusters will provide a test for MOND.
Key words: gravitation / methods: numerical / globular clusters: general
© ESO, 2011
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