The VMC survey: XXX. Stellar proper motions in the central parts of the Small Magellanic Cloud

F. Niederhofer*, M.-R. L. Cioni, S. Rubele, T. Schmidt, K. Bekki, R. de Grijs, J. Emerson, V. D. Ivanov, M. Marconi, J. M. Oliveira, M. G. Petr-Gotzens, V. Ripepi, J. Th. van Loon, S. Zaggia

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We present the first spatially resolved map of stellar proper motions within the central (~3.1 × 2.4 kpc) regions of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The data used for this study encompasses four tiles from the ongoing near-infrared VISTA survey of the Magellanic Clouds system and covers a total contiguous area on the sky of ~6.81 deg 2. Proper motions have been calculated independently in two dimensions from the spatial offsets in the K s filter over time baselines between 22 and 27 months. The reflex motions of approximately 33 000 background galaxies are used to calibrate the stellar motions to an absolute scale. The resulting catalog is composed of more than 690 000 stars which have been selected based on their position in the (J - K s, K s) color-magnitude diagram. For the median absolute proper motion of the SMC, we find (μ αcos(δ), μ δ) = (1.087 ± 0.192 (sys.) ± 0.003 (stat.), -1.187 ± 0.008 (sys.) ± 0.003 (stat.)) mas yr -1, consistent with previous studies. Mapping the proper motions as a function of position within the SMC reveals a nonuniform velocity pattern indicative of a tidal feature behind the main body of the SMC and a flow of stars in the south-east moving predominantly along the line-of-sight.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberL8
    Number of pages4
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Volume613
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2018

    Keywords

    • proper motions
    • surveys
    • galaxies: individual: SMC
    • Magellanic Clouds
    • stars: kinematics and dynamics

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