Volume 574, February 2015
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||30 January 2015|
Dark matter deprivation in the field elliptical galaxy NGC 7507⋆
1 Departamento de Astronomía Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160 C, Concepción, Chile
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Received: 25 April 2014
Accepted: 10 December 2014
Context. Previous studies have shown that the kinematics of the field elliptical galaxy NGC 7507 do not necessarily require dark matter. This is troubling because, in the context of ΛCDM cosmologies, all galaxies should have a large dark matter component.
Aims. Our aims are to determine the rotation and velocity dispersion profile out to larger radii than do previous studies, and, therefore, more accurately estimate of the dark matter content of the galaxy.
Methods. We use penalised pixel-fitting software to extract velocities and velocity dispersions from GMOS slit mask spectra. Using Jeans and MONDian modelling, we then produce models with the goal of fitting the velocity dispersion data.
Results. NGC 7507 has a two-component stellar halo, with the outer halo counter rotating with respect to the inner halo, with a kinematic boundary at a radius of ~110′′ (~12.4 kpc). The velocity dispersion profile exhibits an increase at ~70′′ (~7.9 kpc), reminiscent of several other elliptical galaxies. Our best fit models are those under mild anisotropy, which include ~100 times less dark matter than predicted by ΛCDM, although mildly anisotropic models that are completely dark matter free fit the measured dynamics almost equally well. Our MONDian models, both isotropic and anisotropic, systematically fail to reproduce the measured velocity dispersions at almost all radii.
Conclusions. The counter-rotating outer halo implies a merger remnant, as does the increase in velocity dispersion at ~70′′. From simulations it seems plausible that the merger that caused the increase in velocity dispersion was a spiral-spiral merger. Our Jeans models are completely consistent with a no dark matter scenario, however, some dark matter can be accommodated, although at much lower concentrations than predicted by ΛCDM simulations. This indicates that NGC 7507 may be a dark matter free elliptical galaxy. Regardless of whether NGC 7507 is completely dark matter free or very dark matter poor, it is at odds with predictions from current ΛCDM cosmological simulations. It may be possible that the observed velocity dispersions could be reproduced if the galaxy is significantly flattened along the line of sight (e.g. due to rotation); however, invoking this flattening is problematic.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 7507 / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD / galaxies: halos
Based on observations taken at the Gemini Observatory, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia (Brazil) and SECYT (Argentina).
© ESO, 2015
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