Publications associated with Theoretical Astrophysics & Plasma Physics


Action-based models for dwarf spheroidal galaxies and globular clusters

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 488 (2019) 2423-2439

R Pascale, J Binney, C Nipoti, L Posti

A new family of self-consistent distribution function (DF)-based models of stellar systems is explored. The stellar component of the models is described by a DF depending on the action integrals, previously used to model the Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy (dSph). The stellar component may cohabit with either a dark halo, also described by a DF, or with a massive central black hole. In all cases we solve for the models self-consistent potential. Focussing on spherically symmetric models, we show how the stellar observables vary with the anisotropy prescribed by the DF, with the dominance and nature of the dark halo, and with the mass of the black hole. We show that precise fits to the observed surface brightness profiles of four globular clusters can be obtained for a wide range of prescribed velocity anisotropies. We also obtain precise fits to the observed projected densities of four dSphs. Finally, we present a three-component model of the Sculptor dSph with distinct DFs for the red and blue horizontal branch stars and the dark matter halo.


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