Building an Acceleration Ladder with Tidal Streams and Pulsar Timing

Peter Craig, Sukanya Chakrabarti, Robyn E. Sanderson, Farnik Nikakhtar

Submitted on 1 November 2022


We analyze stellar streams in action-angle coordinates combined with recent local direct acceleration measurements to provide joint constraints on the potential of our Galaxy. Our stream analysis uses the Kullback-Leibler divergence with a likelihood analysis based on the two-point correlation function. We provide joint constraints from pulsar accelerations and stellar streams for local and global parameters that describe the potential of the Milky Way (MW). Our goal is to build an ``acceleration ladder", where direct acceleration measurements that are currently limited in dynamic range are combined with indirect techniques that can access a much larger volume of the MW. To constrain the MW potential with stellar streams, we consider the Palomar 5, Orphan, Nyx, Helmi and GD1 streams. Of the potential models that we have considered here, the preferred potential for the streams is a two-component Staeckel potential. We also compare the vertical accelerations from stellar streams and pulsar timing, defining a function f(z)=α1pulsarzΦz, where Φ is the MW potential determined from stellar streams, and α1 pulsarz is the vertical acceleration determined from pulsar timing observations. Our analysis indicates that the Oort limit determined from streams is consistently (regardless of the choice of potential) lower than that determined from pulsar timing observations. The calibration we have derived here may be used to correct the estimate of the acceleration from stellar streams.


Comment: 8 pages, 4 figures, 1 table. Submitted to ApJ Letters

Subject: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies


Stream and pulsar samples shown in Galactocentric coordinates. This is the main data set used for the results presented in this paper.