We present Magellan/M2FS, Very Large Telescope/GIRAFFE, and Gemini South/GMOS spectroscopy of the newly discovered Milky Way satellite Reticulum II. Based on the spectra of 25 Ret II member stars selected from Dark Energy Survey imaging, we measure a mean heliocentric velocity of 62.8 ± 0.5 km s-1 and a velocity dispersion of 3.3 ± 0.7 km s-1. The mass-to-light ratio of Ret II within its half-light radius is 470 ± 210 M⊙/L⊙, demonstrating that it is a strongly dark matter-dominated system. Despite its spatial proximity to the Magellanic Clouds, the radial velocity of Ret II differs from that of the LMC and SMC by 199 and 83 km s-1, respectively, suggesting that it is not gravitationally bound to the Magellanic system. The likely member stars of Ret II span 1.3 dex in metallicity, with a dispersion of 0.28 ± 0.09 dex, and we identify several extremely metal-poor stars with [Fe/H] < -3. In combination with its luminosity, size, and ellipticity, these results confirm that Ret II is an ultra-faint dwarf galaxy. With a mean metallicity of [Fe/H] = -2.65 ± 0.07, Ret II matches Segue 1 as the most metal-poor galaxy known. Although Ret II is the third-closest dwarf galaxy to the Milky Way, the line-of-sight integral of the dark matter density squared is log10(J) = 18.8 ± 0.6 GeV2 cm-5 within 0°.2, indicating that the predicted gamma-ray flux from dark matter annihilation in Ret II is lower than that of several other dwarf galaxies.
|Publication status||Published - 23 Jul 2015|
- dark matter
- galaxies: dwarf
- galaxies: individual (Reticulum II)
- galaxies: stellar content
- Local Group
- stars: bundances