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Title: A dwarf galaxy remnant in Canis Major: the fossil of an in-plane accretion onto the Milky Way
Authors: Martin, N. F.
Ibata, R. A.
Bellazzini, M.
Irwin, M. J.
Lewis, G. F.
Dehnen, W.
First Published: 11-Feb-2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2004, 348 (1), pp. 12-23
Abstract: We present an analysis of the asymmetries in the population of Galactic M-giant stars present in the 2MASS All Sky catalogue. Several large-scale asymmetries are detected, the most significant of which is a strong elliptical-shaped stellar over-density, close to the Galactic plane at (l=240, b=-8), in the constellation of Canis Major. A small grouping of globular clusters (NGC 1851, NGC 1904, NGC 2298, and NGC 2808), coincident in position and radial velocity, surround this structure, as do a number of open clusters. The population of M-giant stars in this over-density is similar in number to that in the core of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy. We argue that this object is the likely dwarf galaxy progenitor of the ring-like structure that has recently been found at the edge of the Galactic disk. A numerical study of the tidal disruption of an accreted dwarf galaxy is presented. The simulated debris fits well the extant position, distance and velocity information on the ``Galactic Ring'', as well as that of the M-giant over-densities, suggesting that all these structures are the consequence of a single accretion event. The disrupted dwarf galaxy stream orbits close to the Galactic Plane, with a pericentre at approximately the Solar circle, an orbital eccentricity similar to that of stars in the Galactic thick disk, as well as a vertical scale height similar to that of the thick disk. This finding strongly suggests that the Canis Major dwarf galaxy is a building block of the Galactic thick disk, that the thick disk is continually growing, even up to the present time, and that thick disk globular clusters were accreted onto the Milky Way from dwarf galaxies in co-planar orbits.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.07331.x
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Description: 13 pages, 18 figures (2 in colour), accepted for publication in MNRAS
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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