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Limit on the LMC mass from a census of its satellites

Belokurov, Vasily A and Erkal, Denis (2020) Limit on the LMC mass from a census of its satellites Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 495 (3). pp. 2554-2563.

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We study the orbits of dwarf galaxies in the combined presence of the Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and find six dwarfs that were likely accreted with the LMC (Car 2, Car 3, Hor 1, Hyi 1, Phe 2, and Ret 2), in addition to the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), representing strong evidence of dwarf galaxy group infall. This procedure depends on the gravitational pull of the LMC, allowing us to place a lower bound on the Cloud’s mass of MLMC˃1.24×1011M⊙ if we assume that these are LMC satellites. This mass estimate is validated by applying the technique to a cosmological zoom-in simulation of a Milky Way-like galaxy with an LMC analogue where we find that while this lower bound may be overestimated, it will improve in the future with smaller observational errors. We apply this technique to dwarf galaxies lacking radial velocities and find that Eri 3 has a broad range of radial velocities for which it has a significant chance (˃0.4) of having been bound to the Cloud. We study the non-Magellanic classical satellites and find that Fornax has an appreciable probability of being an LMC satellite if the LMC is sufficiently massive (⁠∼2.5×1011M⊙⁠). In addition, we explore how the orbits of Milky Way satellites change in the presence of the LMC and find a significant change for several objects. Finally, we find that the dwarf galaxies likely to be LMC satellites are slightly smaller than Milky Way satellites at a fixed luminosity, possibly due to the different tidal environments they have experienced.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Physics
Authors :
Belokurov, Vasily A
Date : 6 May 2020
DOI : 10.1093/mnras/staa1238
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (
Uncontrolled Keywords : Galaxy: evolution. Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics. Magellanic Clouds
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 03 Jun 2020 16:17
Last Modified : 03 Jun 2020 16:17

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