Discovery of distant RR Lyrae Stars in the Milky Way using DECam
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We report the discovery of distant RR Lyrae stars, including the most distant known in the Milky Way, using data taken in the g-band with the Dark Energy Camera as part of the High cadence Transient Survey (HiTS; 2014 campaign). We detect a total of 173 RR Lyrae stars over a similar to 120 deg(2) area, including both known RR Lyrae and new detections. The heliocentric distances d(H) of the full sample range from 9 to > 200 kpc, with 18 of them beyond 90 kpc. We identify three sub-groups of RR Lyrae as members of known systems: the Sextans dwarf spheroidal galaxy, for which we report 46 new discoveries, and the ultra-faint dwarf galaxies Leo IV and Leo V. Following an MCMC methodology, we fit spherical and ellipsoidal profiles of the form rho(R) similar to R-n to the radial density distribution of RR Lyrae in the Galactic halo. The best fit corresponds to the spherical case, for which we obtain a simple power-law index of n = 4.17(-0.20)(+0.18), consistent with recent studies made with samples covering shorter distances. The pulsational properties of the outermost RR Lyrae in the sample (d(H) > 90 kpc) differ from the ones in the halo population at closer distances. The distribution of the stars in a period-amplitude diagram suggest they belong to Oosterhoff-intermediate or Oosterhoff II groups, similar to what is found in the ultra-faint dwarf satellites around the Milky Way. The new distant stars discovered represent an important addition to the few existing tracers of the Milky Way potential in the outer halo.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemThe Astrophysical Journal, 855:43 (22pp), 2018
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