From the Fire: A Deeper Look at the Phoenix Stream

K. Tavangar, P. Ferguson, N. Shipp, A. Drlica-Wagner, S. Koposov, D. Erkal, E. Balbinot, J. García-Bellido, K. Kuehn, G. F. Lewis, T. S. Li, S. Mau, A. B. Pace, A. H. Riley, T. M.C. Abbott, M. Aguena, S. Allam, F. Andrade-Oliveira, J. Annis, E. BertinD. Brooks, D. L. Burke, A. Carnero Rosell, M. Carrasco Kind, J. Carretero, M. Costanzi, L. N. Da Costa, M. E.S. Pereira, J. De Vicente, H. T. Diehl, S. Everett, I. Ferrero, B. Flaugher, J. Frieman, E. Gaztanaga, D. W. Gerdes, D. Gruen, R. A. Gruendl, J. Gschwend, G. Gutierrez, S. R. Hinton, D. L. Hollowood, K. Honscheid, D. J. James, N. Kuropatkin, M. A.G. Maia, J. L. Marshall, F. Menanteau, R. Miquel, R. Morgan, R. L.C. Ogando, A. Palmese, F. Paz-Chinchón, A. Pieres, A. A. Plazas Malagón, M. Rodriguez-Monroy, E. Sanchez, V. Scarpine, S. Serrano, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, M. Smith, E. Suchyta, M. E.C. Swanson, G. Tarle, C. To, T. N. Varga, A. R. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We use 6 yr of data from the Dark Energy Survey to perform a detailed photometric characterization of the Phoenix stellar stream, a 15° long, thin, dynamically cold, low-metallicity stellar system in the Southern Hemisphere. We use natural splines, a nonparametric modeling technique, to simultaneously fit the stream track, width, and linear density. This updated stream model allows us to improve measurements of the heliocentric distance (17.4 ± 0.1 (stat.) ±0.8 (sys.) kpc) and distance gradient (-0.009 ± 0.006 kpc deg-1) of Phoenix, which corresponds to a small change of 0.13 ± 0.09 kpc in heliocentric distance along the length of the stream. We measure linear intensity variations on degree scales, as well as deviations in the stream track on ∼2° scales, suggesting that the stream may have been disturbed during its formation and/or evolution. We recover three peaks and one gap in linear intensity along with fluctuations in the stream track. Compared to other thin streams, the Phoenix stream shows more fluctuations and, consequently, the study of Phoenix offers a unique perspective on gravitational perturbations of stellar streams. We discuss possible sources of perturbations to Phoenix, including baryonic structures in the Galaxy and dark matter subhalos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume925
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Astronomy data modeling
  • Cosmology
  • Dark matter
  • Galaxy structure
  • Milky Way dynamics
  • Stellar streams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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