GROUP FINDING IN THE STELLAR HALO USING PHOTOMETRIC SURVEYS: CURRENT SENSITIVITY AND FUTURE PROSPECTS
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) provided the first deep and global photometric catalogs of stars in our halo and not only clearly mapped its structure but also demonstrated the ubiquity of substructure within it. Future surveys promise to push such catalogs to ever increasing depths and larger numbers of stars. This paper examines what can be learned from current and future photometric databases using group-finding techniques. We compare groups recovered from a sample of M-giants from 2MASS with those found in synthetic surveys of simulated ACDM stellar halos that were built entirely from satellite accretion events and demonstrate broad consistency between the properties of the two sets. We also find that these recovered groups are likely to represent the majority of high-luminosity (L > 5 x 10(6) L-circle dot) satellites accreted within the last 10 Gyr and on orbits with apocenters within 100 kpc. However, the sensitivity of the M-giant survey to accretion events that were either ancient from low-luminosity objects or those on radial orbits is limited because of the low number of stars, bias toward high-metallicity stars, and the shallow depth (distance explored only out to 100 kpc from the Sun). We examine the extent to which these limitations are addressed by current and future surveys, in particular catalogs of main-sequence turnoff (MSTO) stars from SDSS and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and of RR Lyrae stars from LSST or PanSTARRS. The MSTO and RR Lyrae surveys are more sensitive to low-luminosity events (L similar to 10(5) L-circle dot or less) than the 2MASS M-giant sample. Additionally, RR Lyrae surveys, with superior depth, are also good at detecting events on highly eccentric orbits whose debris tends to lie beyond 100 kpc. When combined we expect these photometric surveys to provide a comprehensive picture of the last 10 Gyr of Galactic accretion. Events older than this are too phase mixed to be discovered. Pushing sensitivity back to earlier accretion times would require additional dimensions of information, such as velocity and metallicity or abundance measurements.
|Título según WOS:||ID WOS:000286973600032 Not found in local WOS DB|
|Título de la Revista:||ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL|
|Editorial:||IOP PUBLISHING LTD|
|Fecha de publicación:||2011|