A re-evaluation of the central velocity-dispersion profile in NGC 6388

21 Aug

[2015arXiv150702813L] Lützgendorf, Nora; Gebhardt, Karl; Baumgardt, Holger; Noyola, Eva; Neumayer, Nadine; Kissler-Patig, Markus; de Zeeuw, Tim

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 11.29.20 Recently, two independent groups found very different results when measuring the central velocity dispersion of the galactic globular cluster NGC 6388 with different methods. While L\”utzgendorf et al. (2011) found a rising profile and a high central velocity dispersion (23.3 km/s), measurements obtained by Lanzoni et al. (2013) showed a value 40% lower. The value of the central velocity dispersion has a serious impact on the mass and possible presence of an intermediate-mass black hole at the center of NGC 6388. We use a photometric catalog of NGC 6388 to create a simulated SINFONI and ARGUS dataset. The construction of the IFU data cube is done with different observing conditions reproducing the conditions reported for the original observations as closely as possible. In addition, we produce an N-body realization of a 10^6 M_SUN stellar cluster with the same photometric properties as NGC 6388 to account for unresolved stars. We find that the individual radial velocities, i.e. the measurements from the simulated SINFONI data, are systematically biased towards lower velocity dispersions. The reason is that due to the wings in the point spread function the velocities get biased towards the mean cluster velocity. This study shows that even with AO supported observations, individual radial velocities in crowded fields are likely to be biased. The ARGUS observations do not show this kind of bias but were found to have larger uncertainties than previously obtained. We find a bias towards higher velocity dispersions in the ARGUS pointing when fixing the extreme velocities of the three brightest stars but find those variations are within the determined uncertainties. We rerun Jeans models and fit the kinematic profile with the new uncertainties. This yields a BH mass of M_BH = (2.8 +- 0.4) x 10^4 M_SUN and M/L ratio M/L = (1.6 +- 0.1) M_SUN/L_SUN, consistent with our previous results.