Hunting the parent of the orphan stream: Identifying stream members from low-resolution spectroscopy

Andrew R. Casey, Gary Da Costa, Stefan C. Keller, Elizabeth Maunder

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22 Citations (Scopus)


We present candidate K-giant members in the Orphan Stream that have been identified from low-resolution data taken with the AAOmega spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. From modest signal-to-noise spectra and independent cuts in photometry, kinematics, gravity, and metallicity we yield self-consistent, highly probable stream members. We find a revised stream distance of 22.5 ± 2.0 kpc near the celestial equator and our kinematic signature peaks at V GSR = 82.1 ± 1.4 km s-1. The observed velocity dispersion of our most probable members is consistent with arising from the velocity uncertainties alone. This indicates that at least along this line of sight, the Orphan Stream is kinematically cold. Our data indicate an overall stream metallicity of [Fe/H] = -1.63 ± 0.19 dex which is more metal-rich than previously found and unbiased by spectral type. Furthermore, the significant metallicity dispersion displayed by our most probable members, σ([Fe/H]) = 0.56 dex, suggests that the unidentified Orphan Stream parent is a dSph satellite. We highlight likely members for high-resolution spectroscopic follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • galaxies: individual (Orphan Stream)
  • Galaxy: halo
  • Galaxy: structure
  • stars: individual (K-giants)

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