N-body simulations of the carina dSph in MOND

G. W. Angus, G. Gentile, A. Diaferio, B. Famaey, K. J. Van der Heyden

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The classical dwarf spheroidals (dSphs) provide a critical test for Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) because they are observable satellite galactic systems with low internal accelerations and low, but periodically varying, external acceleration. This varying external gravitational field is not commonly found acting on systems with low internal acceleration. Using Jeans modelling, Carina in particular has been demonstrated to require a V-band massto-light ratio greater than 5, which is the nominal upper limit for an ancient stellar population. We run MOND N-body simulations of a Carina-like dSph orbiting the Milky Way to test if dSphs in MOND are stable to tidal forces over the Hubble time and if those same tidal forces artificially inflate their velocity dispersions and therefore their apparent mass-to-light ratio. We run many simulations with various initial total masses for Carina and Galactocentric orbits (consistent with proper motions), and compare the simulation line-of-sight velocity dispersions (losVDs) with the observed losVDs of Walker et al. We find that the dSphs are stable, but that the tidal forces are not conducive to artificially inflating the losVDs. Furthermore, the range of mass-to-light ratios that best reproduces the observed losVDs of Carina is 5.3 to 5.7 and circular orbits are preferred to plunging orbits. Therefore, some tension still exists between the required mass-to-light ratio for the Carina dSph in MOND and those expected from stellar population synthesis models. It remains to be seen whether a careful treatment of the binary population or triaxiality might reduce this tension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-761
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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