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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Alis Deason

Cunningham, Emily C., Deason, Alis J., Sanderson, Robyn E., Sohn, Sangmo Tony, Anderson, Jay, Guhathakurta, Puragra, Rockosi, Constance M., van der Marel, Roeland P., Loebman, Sarah R. & Wetzel, Andrew (2019). HALO7D II: The Halo Velocity Ellipsoid and Velocity Anisotropy with Distant Main-sequence Stars. The Astrophysical Journal 879(2): 120.

Author(s) from Durham


The Halo Assembly in Lambda Cold Dark Matter: Observations in 7 Dimensions (HALO7D) data set consists of Keck
II/DEIMOS spectroscopy and Hubble Space Telescope–measured proper motions of Milky Way halo main-sequence
turnoff stars in the CANDELS fields. In this paper, the second in the HALO7D series, we present the proper motions for
the HALO7D sample. We discuss our measurement methodology, which makes use of a Bayesian mixture modeling
approach for creating the stationary reference frame of distant galaxies. Using the 3D kinematic HALO7D sample, we
estimate the parameters of the halo velocity ellipsoid, ávfñ, sr, sf, sq, and the velocity anisotropy β. Using the full
HALO7D sample, we find b = -
0.04 at árñ = 23 kpc. We also estimate the ellipsoid parameters for our sample
split into three apparent magnitude bins; the posterior medians for these estimates of β are consistent with one another.
Finally, we estimate β in each of the individual HALO7D fields. We find that the velocity anisotropy β can vary from
field-to field, which suggests that the halo is not phase-mixed at árñ = 23 kpc. We explore the β variation across the
skies of two stellar halos from the Latte suite of FIRE-2 simulations, finding that both simulated galaxies show β
variation over a range similar to that of the variation observed across the four HALO7D fields. The accretion histories of
the two simulated galaxies result in different β variation patterns; spatially mapping β is thus a way forward in
characterizing the accretion history of the Galaxy.