Volume 603, July 2017
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||07 July 2017|
Stellar streams as gravitational experiments
I. The case of Sagittarius⋆
1 Université de Strasbourg, CNRS UMR 7550, Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg, 11 rue de l’Université, 67000, Strasbourg, France
2 Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen-und Kernphysik, Universität Bonn, Nussallee 14–16, 53115 Bonn, Germany
3 Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Astronomical Institute, V Holešovičkách 2, 180 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic
Received: 30 January 2017
Accepted: 3 May 2017
Tidal streams of disrupting dwarf galaxies orbiting around their host galaxy offer a unique way to constrain the shape of galactic gravitational potentials. Such streams can be used as “leaning tower” gravitational experiments on galactic scales. The most well-motivated modification of gravity proposed as an alternative to dark matter on galactic scales is Milgromian dynamics (MOND), and we present here the first ever N-body simulations of the dynamical evolution of the disrupting Sagittarius dwarf galaxy in this framework. Using a realistic baryonic mass model for the Milky Way, we attempt to reproduce the present-day spatial and kinematic structure of the Sagittarius dwarf and its immense tidal stream that wraps around the Milky Way. With very little freedom on the original structure of the progenitor, constrained by the total luminosity of the Sagittarius structure and by the observed stellar mass-size relation for isolated dwarf galaxies, we find reasonable agreement between our simulations and observations of this system. The observed stellar velocities in the leading arm can be reproduced if we include a massive hot gas corona around the Milky Way that is flattened in the direction of the principal plane of its satellites. This is the first time that tidal dissolution in MOND has been tested rigorously at these mass and acceleration scales.
Key words: galaxies: individual: Sgr dSph / Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics / Galaxy: structure / Galaxy: halo / gravitation
The movie associated to Fig. 6 is available at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2017
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