Article

A wide angle view of the Sagittarius dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy. I: VIMOS photometry and radial velocities across Sgr dSph major and minor axis

Astronomy and Astrophysics (Impact Factor: 4.48). 11/2009; DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200913331
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT The Sagittarius dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy (Sgr dSph) provides us with a unique possibility of studying a dwarf galaxy merging event while still in progress. Due to its low distance (25 kpc), the main body of Sgr dSph covers a vast area in the sky (roughly 15 x 7 degrees). Available photometric and spectroscopic studies have concentrated either on the central part of the galaxy or on the stellar stream, but the overwhelming majority of the galaxy body has never been probed. The aim of the present study is twofold. On the one hand, to produce color magnitude diagrams across the extension of Sgr dSph to study its stellar populations, searching for age and/or composition gradients (or lack thereof). On the other hand, to derive spectroscopic low-resolution radial velocities for a subsample of stars to determine membership to Sgr dSph for the purpose of high resolution spectroscopic follow-up. We used VIMOS-VLT to produce V and I photometry and spectroscopy on 7 fields across the Sgr dSph minor and major axis, plus 3 more centered on the associated globular clusters Terzan 7, Terzan 8 and Arp 2. A last field has been centered on M 54, lying in the center of Sgr dSph. We present photometry for 320,000 stars across the main body of Sgr dSph, one of the richest, and safely the most wide-angle sampling ever produced for this fundamental object. We also provide robust memberships for more than one hundred stars, whose high resolution spectroscopic analysis will be the object of forthcoming papers. Sgr dSph appears remarkably uniform among the observed fields. We confirm the presence of a main Sgr dSph population characterized roughly by the same metallicity of 47 Tuc, but we also found the presence of multiple populations on the peripheral fields of the galaxy, with a metallicity spanning from [Fe/H]=-2.3 to a nearly solar value. Comment: 10 pages, 12 figures, accepted for publication in A&A

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