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Siebert A.,University of Strasbourg | Famaey B.,University of Strasbourg | Binney J.,Rudolf Peierls Center for Theoretical Physics | Burnett B.,Rudolf Peierls Center for Theoretical Physics | And 23 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2012

Using the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) survey, we recently brought to light a gradient in the mean galactocentric radial velocity of stars in the extended solar neighbourhood. This gradient likely originates from non-axisymmetric perturbations of the potential, among which a perturbation by spiral arms is a possible explanation. Here, we apply the traditional density wave theory and analytically model the radial component of the two-dimensional velocity field. Provided that the radial velocity gradient is caused by relatively long-lived spiral arms that can affect stars substantially above the plane, this analytic model provides new independent estimates for the parameters of the Milky Way spiral structure. Our analysis favours a two-armed perturbation with the Sun close to the inner ultra-harmonic 4:1 resonance, with a pattern speed Ωp=18.6-0.2+0.3kms-1kpc-1 and a small amplitude A=0.55-0.02+0.02 per cent of the background potential (14 per cent of the background density). This model can serve as a basis for numerical simulations in three dimensions, additionally including a possible influence of the Galactic bar and/or other non-axisymmetric modes. © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS.

Kordopatis G.,University of Cambridge | Gilmore G.,University of Cambridge | Steinmetz M.,Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam | Boeche C.,University of Heidelberg | And 52 more authors.
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2013

We present the stellar atmospheric parameters (effective temperature, surface gravity, overall metallicity), radial velocities, individual abundances, and distances determined for 425,561 stars, which constitute the fourth public data release of the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE). The stellar atmospheric parameters are computed using a new pipeline, based on the algorithms of MATISSE and DEGAS. The spectral degeneracies and the Two Micron All Sky Survey photometric information are now better taken into consideration, improving the parameter determination compared to the previous RAVE data releases. The individual abundances for six elements (magnesium, aluminum, silicon, titanium, iron, and nickel) are also given, based on a special-purpose pipeline that is also improved compared to that available for the RAVE DR3 and Chemical DR1 data releases. Together with photometric information and proper motions, these data can be retrieved from the RAVE collaboration Web site and the Vizier database. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Boeche C.,University of Heidelberg | Boeche C.,Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam | Chiappini C.,Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam | Minchev I.,Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam | And 24 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Aims. We study the relations between stellar kinematics and chemical abundances of a large sample of RAVE giants in search of the selection criteria needed for disentangling different Galactic stellar populations, such as thin disc, thick disc and halo. A direct comparison between the chemo-kinematic relations obtained with our medium spectroscopic resolution data and those obtained from a high-resolution sample is carried out with the aim of testing the robustness of the RAVE data. Methods. We selected a sample of 2167 giant stars with signal-to-noise per spectral measurements above 75 from the RAVE chemical catalogue and followed the analysis performed by Gratton and colleagues on 150 subdwarf stars spectroscopically observed at high resolution. We then used a larger sample of 9131 giants (with signal-to-noise above 60) to investigate the chemo-kinematical characteristics of our stars by grouping them into nine subsamples with common eccentricity (e) and maximum distance achieved above the Galactic plane (Zmax). Results. The RAVE kinematical and chemical data proved to be reliable by reproducing the results by Gratton et al. obtained with high-resolution spectroscopic data. We successfully identified three stellar populations that could be associated with the Galactic thin disc, a dissipative component composed mostly of thick-disc stars, as well as a component comprised of halo stars (presence of debris stars cannot be excluded). Our analysis, based on the e-Zmax plane combined with additional orbital parameters and chemical information, provides an alternative way of identifying different populations of stars. In addition to extracting canonical thick-and thin-disc samples, we find a group of stars in the Galactic plane (Zmax < 1 kpc and 0.4 < e < 0.6) that show homogeneous kinematics but differ in their chemical properties. We interpret this as a clear sign that some of these stars have experienced the effects of heating and/or radial migration, which have modified their original orbits. The accretion origin of such stars cannot be excluded. © 2013 ESO.

Golubov O.,University of Heidelberg | Golubov O.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Golubov O.,University of Kharkiv | Just A.,University of Heidelberg | And 19 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. The determination of the local standard of rest (LSR), which corresponds to the measurement of the peculiar motion of the Sun based on the derivation of the asymmetric drift of stellar populations, is still a matter of debate. The classical value of the tangential peculiar motion of the Sun with respect to the LSR was challenged in recent years, claiming a significantly larger value. Aims. We present an improved Jeans analysis, which allows a better interpretation of the measured kinematics of stellar populations in the Milky Way disc. We show that the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) sample of dwarf stars is an excellent data set to derive tighter boundary conditions to chemodynamical evolution models of the extended solar neighbourhood. Methods. We propose an improved version of the Strömberg relation with the radial scalelengths as the only unknown. We redetermine the asymmetric drift and the LSR for dwarf stars based on RAVE data. Additionally, we discuss the impact of adopting a different LSR value on the individual scalelengths of the subpopulations. Results. Binning RAVE stars in metallicity reveals a bigger asymmetric drift (corresponding to a smaller radial scalelength) for more metal-rich populations. With the standard assumption of velocity-dispersion independent radial scalelengths in each metallicity bin, we redetermine the LSR. The new Strömberg equation yields a joint LSR value of V⊙ = 3.06 ± 0.68 km s-1, which is even smaller than the classical value based on Hipparcos data. The corresponding radial scalelength increases from 1.6 kpc for the metal-rich bin to 2.9 kpc for the metal-poor bin, with a trend of an even larger scalelength for young metal-poor stars. When adopting the recent Schönrich value of V⊙ = 12.24 km s-1 for the LSR, the new Strömberg equation yields much larger individual radial scalelengths of the RAVE subpopulations, which seem unphysical in part. Conclusions. The new Strömberg equation allows a cleaner interpretation of the kinematic data of disc stars in terms of radial scalelengths. Lifting the LSR value by a few km s-1 compared to the classical value results in strongly increased radial scalelengths with a trend of smaller values for larger velocity dispersions. © ESO, 2013.

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