The Strong Rotation of M5 (NGC 5904) as Seen from the MIKiS Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters

In the context of the ESO-VLT Multi-Instrument Kinematic Survey (MIKiS) of Galactic globular clusters (GGCs), we present the line-of-sight rotation curve and velocity dispersion profile of M5 (NGC 5904), as determined from the radial velocity of more than 800 individual stars observed out to 700'' (~5 half-mass radii) from the center. We found one of the cleanest and most coherent rotation patterns ever observed for globular clusters, with a very stable rotation axis (having constant position angle of 145° at all surveyed radii) and a well-defined rotation curve. The density distribution turns out to be flattened in the direction perpendicular to the rotation axis, with a maximum ellipticity of ~0.15. The rotation velocity peak (~3 km s$^{−1}$ in projection) is observed at ~0.6 half-mass radii, and its ratio with respect to the central velocity dispersion (~0.3–0.4 at 4 projected half-mass radii) indicates that ordered motions play a significant dynamical role. This result strengthens the growing empirical evidence of the kinematic complexity of GGCs and motivates the need of fundamental investigations of the role of angular momentum in collisional stellar dynamics.

Publication Date:
Jun 26 2018
Date Submitted:
Jun 28 2019
The Astrophysical Journal
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 Record created 2019-06-28, last modified 2019-07-11

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