The Extended Tidal Tails of NGC 7089 (M2)

April 2022 • 2022ApJ...929...89G

Authors • Grillmair, Carl J.

Abstract • Using photometry and proper motions from Gaia Early Data Release 3, we detect a 45° long trailing stellar debris stream associated with the old, metal-poor globular cluster NGC 7089. With a width on the order of 100 pc, the extended stream appears to be as dynamically cold as the coldest known streams found to date. There is some evidence for an extended leading tail extending between 28° and 37° from the cluster, though the greater distance of this tail, combined with proper motions that are virtually indistinguishable from those of foreground stars, make the detection much less certain. The proper motion profile and the path on the sky of the trailing tail are not well matched using a simple Galactic potential composed purely of a disk, bulge, and spherical halo. However, the addition of a moving, massive (M = 1.88 × 1011 M ) Large Magellanic Cloud brings the model predictions into much better agreement with the observables. We provide tables of the most highly ranked candidate stream stars for follow-up by ongoing and future spectroscopic surveys.


IPAC Authors


Carl Grillmair

Associate Scientist