Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 487, 921-935 (2008/9-1)
The nature of UCDs: Internal dynamics from an expanded sample and homogeneous database.
MIESKE S., HILKER M., JORDAN A., INFANTE L., KISSLER-PATIG M., REJKUBA M., RICHTLER T., COTE P., BAUMGARDT H., WEST M.J., FERRARESE L. and PENG E.W.
Abstract (from CDS):
The internal dynamics of ultra-compact dwarf galaxies (UCDs) has attracted increasing attention, with most of the UCDs studied to date located in the Virgo cluster. Our aim is to perform a comprehensive census of the internal dynamics of UCDs in the Fornax cluster, and to shed light on the nature of the interface between star clusters and galaxies. We obtained high-resolution spectra of 23 Fornax UCDs with -10.4>MV>-13.5 mag (106< M/M☉<108), using FLAMES/Giraffe at the VLT. This is the largest homogeneous data set of UCD internal dynamics assembled to date. We derive dynamical M/L ratios for 15 UCDs covered by HST imaging. In the MV-σ plane, UCDs with MV←12 mag are consistent with the extrapolated Faber-Jackson relation for luminous elliptical galaxies, while most of the fainter UCDs are closer to the extrapolated globular cluster (GC) relation. At a given metallicity, Fornax UCDs have, on average, M/L ratios lower by 30-40% than Virgo UCDs, suggesting possible differences in age or dark matter content between Fornax and Virgo UCDs. For our sample of Fornax UCDs we find no significant correlation between M/L ratio and mass. We combine our data with available M/L ratio measurements of compact stellar systems with 104< M/M☉<108 M, and normalise all M/L estimates to solar metallicity. We find that UCDs (M > 2x106 M☉) have M/L ratios twice as large as GCs (M≲2x106 M☉). We argue that dynamical evolution has probably had only a small effect on the current M/L ratios of objects in the combined sample, implying that stellar population models tend to under-predict dynamical M/L ratios of UCDs and over-predict those of GCs. Considering the scaling relations of stellar spheroids, we find that UCDs align well along the ``Fundamental Manifold''. UCDs can be considered the small-scale end of the galaxy sequence in this context. The alignment for UCDs is especially clear for re > 7 pc, which corresponds to dynamical relaxation times that exceed a Hubble time. In contrast, globular clusters exhibit a broader scatter and do not appear to align along the manifold. We argue that UCDs are the smallest dynamically un-relaxed stellar systems, with M> 2x106 M☉ and 7≲re/pc ≲100. Future studies should aim at explaining the elevated M/L ratios of UCDs and the environmental dependence of their properties.
galaxies: clusters: individual: Fornax - galaxies: dwarf - galaxies: fundamental parameters - galaxies: nuclei - galaxies: star clusters
Tables 1, 3: [MHJ2008] F-NN N=23 among (Nos F-1 to F-64).
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