Chenab / Orphan in the deformed halos of MW and LMC


Stellar streams have been used for a long time to constrain the mass and shape of the dark matter halo of the MW. Chenab (Orphan) passes close to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) during the LMC’s recent close passage to the Milky Way (MW). Modelling Chenab requires at least including the mass of the LMC and the reflex motion of the MW. Still, the resulting inferred MW halo is flattened and aligned with the orbital plane or the present-day location of the LMC. Chenab might be affected by passing through the deforming halos of the MW or the LMC. In this talk, I will present first results on modelling Chenab in a time-dependent potential. This potential uses basis function expansions of N-body simulations of the MW-LMC merger. I will show differences in the stream properties when evolving in a rigid and live potential and disentangle which galaxy and which moments have the most prominent effects. This method will determine how well we can approximate the Galaxy’s halo using rigid potentials. We find that the Chenab stream is primarily sensitive to the deformation of the LMC, which is a promising first step to prove the dark matter halos’ time-dependence using stellar streams.

Feb 22, 2021 — Feb 26, 2021
virtual / hosted by Flatiron NYC
Sophia Lilleengen
Sophia Lilleengen
Astrophysics PhD candidate

I am interested how stellar streams are affected by time-dependent dark matter halos.