HST Proper Motions and Stellar Dynamics in the Core of 47 Tuc

Preprint (astro-ph/0607597)

Authors: Dean E. McLaughlin, Jay Anderson, Georges Meylan, Karl Gebhardt, Carlton Pryor, Dante Minniti, Sterl Phinney
“HST Proper Motions and Stellar Dynamics in the Core of the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae”

We have used HST imaging of the central regions (R<100 arcsec, about 5 core radii) of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae to derive proper motions and U- and V-band magnitudes for 14,366 cluster members. We also present a catalogue of astrometry and F475W photometry for nearly 130,000 stars in a rather larger central area. These data are made available in their entirety, in the form of downloadable electronic tables. We use them first to obtain a new estimate for the position of the cluster center and to define the stellar density profile into essentially zero radius. We then search in particular for any very fast-moving stars, such as might be expected to result from very close stellar encounters. Likely fewer than 0.1% (and no more than about 0.3%) of stars have total speeds above the nominal central escape velocity in 47 Tuc, and at lower speeds the velocity distribution is described very well by a regular King model. Considerations of only the proper-motion velocity dispersion then lead to a number of results: (1) Blue stragglers in the core of 47 Tuc have a velocity dispersion lower than that of the cluster giants by a factor of sqrt{2}. (2) The velocity distribution in the cluster center is essentially isotropic, as expected. (3) Using a sample of radial velocities for stars in the core, we estimate the distance to 47 Tuc: D = 4.0 +/- 0.35 kpc. And (4) we infer a 1-sigma upper limit of M<1000-1500 solar masses for any central, intermediate-mass black hole. We can neither confirm nor refute the hypothesis that 47 Tuc might lie on an extension of the M-sigma relation observed for supermassive black holes in galaxy bulges. [Abridged]



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