Kinematics of Antlia 2 and Crater 2 from the Southern Stellar Stream Spectroscopic Survey (S5)

S5 Collaboration, Alexander P. Ji*, Sergey E. Koposov, Ting S. Li, Denis Erkal, Andrew B. Pace, Joshua D. Simon, Vasily Belokurov, Lara R. Cullinane, Gary S. Da Costa, Kyler Kuehn, Geraint F. Lewis, Dougal Mackey, Nora Shipp, Jeffrey D. Simpson, Daniel B. Zucker, Terese T. Hansen, Joss Bland-Hawthorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


We present new spectroscopic observations of the diffuse Milky Way satellite galaxies Antlia 2 and Crater 2, taken as part of the Southern Stellar Stream Spectroscopic Survey (S5). The new observations approximately double the number of confirmed member stars in each galaxy and more than double the spatial extent of spectroscopic observations in Antlia 2. A full kinematic analysis, including Gaia EDR3 proper motions, detects a clear velocity gradient in Antlia 2 and a tentative velocity gradient in Crater 2. The velocity gradient magnitudes and directions are consistent with particle stream simulations of tidal disruption. Furthermore, the orbit and kinematics of Antlia 2 require a model that includes the reflex motion of the Milky Way induced by the Large Magellanic Cloud. We also find that Antlia 2's metallicity was previously overestimated, so it lies on the empirical luminosity-metallicity relation and is likely only now experiencing substantial stellar mass loss. Current dynamical models of Antlia 2 require it to have lost over 90% of its stars to tides, in tension with the low stellar mass loss implied by the updated metallicity. Overall, the new kinematic measurements support a tidal disruption scenario for the origin of these large and extended dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


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