K. C. Freeman

Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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Publications (369)1155.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present the identification of potential members of nearby Galactic globular clusters using radial velocities from the RAdial Velocity Experiment Data Release 4 (RAVE-DR4) survey database. Our identifications are based on three globular clusters -- NGC 3201, NGC 5139 ($\omega$ Cen) and NGC 362 -- all of which are shown to have |RV|>100 km/s. The identification of globular cluster stars in RAVE DR4 data offers a unique opportunity to test the precision and accuracy of the stellar parameters determined with the currently available Stellar Parameter Pipelines (SPPs) used in the survey, as globular clusters are ideal testbeds for the validation of stellar atmospheric parameters, abundances, distances and ages. For both NGC 3201 and $\omega$ Cen, there is compelling evidence for numerous members (> 10) in the RAVE database; in the case of NGC 362 the evidence is more ambiguous, and there may be significant foreground and/or background contamination in our kinematically-selected sample. A comparison of the RAVE-derived stellar parameters and abundances with published values for each cluster and with BASTI isochrones for ages and metallicities from the literature reveals overall good agreement, with the exception of the apparent underestimation of surface gravities for giants, in particular for the most metal-poor stars. Moreover, if the selected members are part of the main body of each cluster our results would also suggest that the distances from Binney et al. 2013, where only isochrones more metal-rich than -0.9 dex were used, are typically underestimated by ~ 40% with respect to the published distances for the clusters, while the distances from Zwitter et al. 2010 show stars ranging from 1 to ~ 6.5 kpc -- with indications of a trend toward higher distances at lower metallicities -- for the three clusters analysed in this study.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2015; 000(2):1-23. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stv800 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The GALAH survey is a large high-resolution spectroscopic survey using the newly commissioned HERMES spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The HERMES spectrograph provides high-resolution (R ~28,000) spectra in four passbands for 392 stars simultaneously over a 2 degree field of view. The goal of the survey is to unravel the formation and evolutionary history of the Milky Way, using fossil remnants of ancient star formation events which have been disrupted and are now dispersed throughout the Galaxy. Chemical tagging seeks to identify such dispersed remnants solely from their common and unique chemical signatures; these groups are unidentifiable from their spatial, photometric or kinematic properties. To carry out chemical tagging, the GALAH survey will acquire spectra for a million stars down to V~14. The HERMES spectra of FGK stars contain absorption lines from 29 elements including light proton-capture elements, alpha-elements, odd-Z elements, iron-peak elements and n-capture elements from the light and heavy s-process and the r-process. This paper describes the motivation and planned execution of the GALAH survey, and presents some results on the first-light performance of HERMES.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2015; 449(3). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stv327 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using the RAdial Velocity Experiment fourth data release (RAVE DR4), and a new metallicity calibration that will be also taken into account in the future RAVE DR5, we investigate the existence and the properties of supersolar metallicity stars ([M/H] ≳ +0.1 dex) in the sample, and in particular in the solar neighbourhood. We find that RAVE is rich in supersolar metallicity stars, and that the local metallicity distribution function declines remarkably slowly up to +0.4 dex. Our results show that the kinematics and height distributions of the supersolar metallicity stars are identical to those of the [M/H] ≲ 0 thin-disc giants that we presume were locally manufactured. The eccentricities of the supersolar metallicity stars indicate that half of them are on a roughly circular orbit (e ≤ 0.15), so under the assumption that the metallicity of the interstellar medium at a given radius never decreases with time, they must have increased their angular momenta by scattering at corotation resonances of spiral arms from regions far inside the solar annulus. The likelihood that a star will migrate radially does not seem to decrease significantly with increasing amplitude of vertical oscillations within range of oscillation amplitudes encountered in the disc.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 12/2014; 447(4). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu2726 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We provide APASS photometry in the Landolt BV and Sloan g'r'i' bands for all the 425,743 stars included in the latest 4th RAVE Data Release. The internal accuracy of the APASS photometry of RAVE stars, expressed as error of the mean of data obtained and separately calibrated over a median of 4 distinct observing epochs and distributed between 2009 and 2013, is 0.013, 0.012, 0.012, 0.014 and 0.021 mag for B, V, g', r' and i' band, respectively. The equally high external accuracy of APASS photometry has been verified on secondary Landolt and Sloan photometric standard stars not involved in the APASS calibration process, and on a large body of literature data on field and cluster stars, confirming the absence of offsets and trends. Compared with the Carlsberg Meridian Catalog (CMC-15), APASS astrometry of RAVE stars is accurate to a median value of 0.098 arcsec. Brightness distribution functions for the RAVE stars have been derived in all bands. APASS photometry of RAVE stars, augmented by 2MASS JHK infrared data, has been chi2 fitted to a densely populated synthetic photometric library designed to widely explore in temperature, surface gravity, metallicity and reddening. Resulting Teff and E(B-V), computed over a range of options, are provided and discussed, and will be kept updated in response to future APASS and RAVE data releases. In the process it is found that the reddening caused by an homogeneous slab of dust, extending for 140 pc on either side of the Galactic plane and responsible for E(B-V,poles)=0.036 +/- 0.002 at the galactic poles, is a suitable approximation of the actual reddening encountered at Galactic latitudes |b|>=25 deg.
    The Astronomical Journal 08/2014; 148(5). DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/148/5/81 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a study of the chemical abundances of Solar neighbourhood stars associated to dynamical structures in the Milky Way's (thick) disk. These stars were identified as overdensity in the eccentricity range 0.3< ecc < 0.5 in the Copenhagen-Geneva Survey by Helmi et al. (2006). We find that the stars with these dynamical characteristics do not constitute a homogeneous population. A relatively sharp transition in dynamical and chemical properties appears to occur at a metallicity of [Fe/H] ~ -0.4. Stars with [Fe/H] > -0.4 have mostly lower eccentricities, smaller vertical velocity dispersions, are alpha-enhanced and define a rather narrow sequence in [alpha/Fe] vs [Fe/H], clearly distinct from that of the thin disk. Stars with [Fe/H] < -0.4 have a range of eccentricities, are hotter vertically, and depict a larger spread in [alpha/Fe]. We have also found tentative evidence of substructure possibly associated to the disruption of a metal-rich star cluster. The differences between these populations of stars is also present in e.g. [Zn/Fe], [Ni/Fe] and [SmII/Fe], suggesting a real physical distinction.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 791(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/135 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We determine the Galactic potential in the solar neigbourhood from RAVE observations. We select red clump stars for which accurate distances, radial velocities and metallicities have been measured. Combined with data from the 2MASS and UCAC catalogues, we build a sample of ~4600 red clump stars within a cylinder of 500 pc radius oriented in the direction of the South Galactic Pole, in the range of 200 pc to 2000 pc distances. We deduce the vertical force and the total mass density distribution up to 2 kpc away from the Galactic plane by fitting a distribution function depending explicitly on three isolating integrals of the motion in a separable potential locally representing the Galactic one with four free parameters. Due to the deep extension of our sample, we can determine nearly independently the dark matter mass density and the baryonic disk surface mass density. We find (i) at 1 kpc K_z/(2\pi G)=68.5+/-1.0 Msun/pc2, and (ii) at 2kpc Kz/(2\pi G)=96.9+/-2.2 Msun/pc2. Assuming the solar Galactic radius at R0=8.5 kpc, we deduce the local dark matter density rho_{DM}(z=0)=0.0143+/-0.0011Msun/pc3=0.542+/-0.042 Gev/cm3 and the baryonic surface mass density Sigma{bar}=44.4+/-4.1 Msun/pc2. Our results are in agreement with previously published Kz determinations up to 1 kpc, while the extension to 2 kpc shows some evidence for an unexpectedly large amount of dark matter. A flattening of the dark halo of order 0.8 can produce such a high local density in combination with a circular velocity of 240 km/s. Another explanation, allowing for a lower circular velocity, could be the presence of a secondary dark component, a very thick disk resulting either from the deposit of dark matter from the accretion of multiple small dwarf galaxies, or from the presence of an effective 'phantom' thick disk in the context of effective galactic-scales modifications of gravity.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2014; 571. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424478 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the kinematic parameters of the Milky Way disc using the RAVE and GCS stellar surveys. We do this by fitting a kinematic model to the data taking the selection function of the data into account. For stars in the GCS we use all phase-space coordinates, but for RAVE stars we use only $(l,b,v_{\rm los})$. Using MCMC technique, we investigate the full posterior distributions of the parameters given the data. We investigate the `age-velocity dispersion' relation for the three kinematic components ($\sigma_R,\sigma_{\phi},\sigma_z$), the radial dependence of the velocity dispersions, the Solar peculiar motion ($U_{\odot},V_{\odot}, W_{\odot} $), the circular speed $\Theta_0$ at the Sun and the fall of mean azimuthal motion with height above the mid-plane. We confirm that the Besan\c{c}on-style Gaussian model accurately fits the GCS data, but fails to match the details of the more spatially extended RAVE survey. In particular, the Shu distribution function (DF) handles non-circular orbits more accurately and provides a better fit to the kinematic data. The Gaussian distribution function not only fits the data poorly but systematically underestimates the fall of velocity dispersion with radius. We find that correlations exist between a number of parameters, which highlights the importance of doing joint fits. The large size of the RAVE survey, allows us to get precise values for most parameters. However, large systematic uncertainties remain, especially in $V_{\odot}$ and $\Theta_0$. We find that, for an extended sample of stars, $\Theta_0$ is underestimated by as much as $10\%$ if the vertical dependence of the mean azimuthal motion is neglected. Using a simple model for vertical dependence of kinematics, we find that it is possible to match the Sgr A* proper motion without any need for $V_{\odot}$ being larger than that estimated locally by surveys like GCS.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2014; 793(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/793/1/51 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: By selecting in the RAVE-DR4 survey the stars located between 1 and 2 kpc above the Galactic plane, we question the consistency of the simplest three-component model (thin disc, thick disc, halo) for the Milky Way. We confirm that the metallicity and azimuthal velocity distribution functions of the thick disc are not Gaussian. In particular, we find that the thick disc has an extended metallicity tail going at least down to [M/H]=-2 dex, contributing roughly at 3% of the entire thick disc population and having a shorter scale-length compared to the canonical thick disc. The mean azimuthal velocity of these metal-poor stars allows us to estimate the correlation between the metallicity and the orbital velocity, which is an important constraint on the formation mechanisms of the Galactic thick disc. Given our simple approach, we find dVphi/d[M/H] ~ 50 km/s/dex, which is in a very good agreement with previous literature values. We complete the study with a brief discussion on the implications of the formation scenarios for the thick disc, and suggest that given the above mentioned characteristics, a thick disc mainly formed by radial migration mechanisms seems unlikely.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2013; 436(4). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1804 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RAVE, the unbiased magnitude limited survey of southern sky stars, contained 456,676 medium-resolution spectra at the time of our analysis. Spectra cover the Ca II infrared triplet (IRT) range, which is a known indicator of chromospheric activity. Our previous work classified all spectra using locally linear embedding. It identified 53,347 cases with a suggested emission component in calcium lines. Here, we use a spectral subtraction technique to measure the properties of this emission. Synthetic templates are replaced by the observed spectra of non-active stars to bypass the difficult computations of non-local thermal equilibrium profiles of the line cores and stellar parameter dependence. We derive both the equivalent width of the excess emission for each calcium line on a 5 Å wide interval and their sum EWIRT for ~44,000 candidate active dwarf stars with signal-to-noise ratio >20, with no cuts on the basis of the source of their emission flux. From these, ~14,000 show a detectable chromospheric flux with at least a 2σ confidence level. Our set of active stars vastly enlarges previously known samples. Atmospheric parameters and, in some cases, radial velocities of active stars derived from automatic pipelines suffer from systematic shifts due to their shallower calcium lines. We re-estimate the effective temperature, metallicity, and radial velocities for candidate active stars. The overall distribution of activity levels shows a bimodal shape, with the first peak coinciding with non-active stars and the second with the pre-main-sequence cases. The catalog will be made publicly available with the next RAVE public data releases.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 776(2):127-. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/776/2/127 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse interstellar bands are usually observed in spectra of hot stars, where interstellar lines are rarely blended with stellar ones. The need for hot stars is a strong limitation in the number of sightlines we can observe and the distribution of sightlines in the Galaxy, as hot stars are rare and concentrated in the Galactic plane. We are introducing a new method, where interstellar lines can be observed in spectra of cool stars in large spectroscopic surveys. The method is completely automated and does not require prior knowledge of the stellar parameters. If known, the stellar parameters only reduce the computational time and are not involved in the extraction of the interstellar spectrum. The main step in extracting interstellar lines is a construction of the stellar spectrum, which is in our method done by finding other observed spectra that lack interstellar features and are otherwise very similar to the spectrum in question. Such spectra are then combined into a single stellar spectrum template, which matches the stellar component in an observed spectrum. We demonstrate the performance of this new method on a sample of 482,430 spectra observed in RAVE survey. However, many spectra have to be combined (48 on average) in order to achieve a S/N ratio high enough to measure the DIB's profile, hence limiting the spatial information about the ISM. Only one strong interstellar line is included in the RAVE spectral range, a diffuse interstellar band at 8620 \AA. We compare its equivalent width with extinction maps and with Bayesian reddening, calculated for individual stars, and provide a linear relation between the equivalent width and reddening. Separately from the introduced method, we calculate equivalent widths of the diffuse interstellar band in spectra of hot stars with known extinction and compare all three linear relations with each other and with relations from the literature.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 778(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/778/2/86 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RAVE, the unbiased magnitude limited survey of the southern sky stars, contained 456,676 medium-resolution spectra at the time of our analysis. Spectra cover the CaII IRT range which is a known indicator of chromospheric activity. Our previous work (Matijevi\v{c} et al. 2012) classified all spectra using locally linear embedding. It identified 53,347 cases with a suggested emission component in calcium lines. Here we use a spectral subtraction technique to measure the properties of this emission. Synthetic templates are replaced by the observed spectra of non-active stars to bypass the difficult computations of non-LTE profiles of the line cores and stellar parameter dependence. We derive both the equivalent width of the excess emission for each calcium line on a 5\AA\ wide interval and their sum EW_IRT for ~44,000 candidate active dwarf stars with S/N>20 and with no respect to the source of their emission flux. From these ~14,000 show a detectable chromospheric flux with at least 2\sigma\ confidence level. Our set of active stars vastly enlarges previously known samples. Atmospheric parameters and in some cases radial velocities of active stars derived from automatic pipeline suffer from systematic shifts due to their shallower calcium lines. We re-estimate the effective temperature, metallicity and radial velocities for candidate active stars. The overall distribution of activity levels shows a bimodal shape, with the first peak coinciding with non-active stars and the second with the pre main-sequence cases. The catalogue will be publicly available with the next RAVE public data releases.
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the diffuse light in the outer regions of the nearby elliptical galaxy M87 in the Virgo cluster, using planetary nebulas (PNs) as tracers. The surveyed areas (0.43 squared degrees) cover M87 up to a radial distance of 150 kpc, in the ransition region between galaxy halo and intracluster light (ICL). All PNs are identified through the on-off band technique using automatic selection criteria based on the distribution of the detected sources in the colour-magnitude diagram and the properties of their point-spread function. We extract a catalogue of 688 objects down to m_5007=28.4, with an estimated residual contamination from foreground stars and background Lyalpha galaxies, which amounts to ~35% of the sample. This is one of the largest extragalactic PN samples in number of candidates, magnitude depth, and radial extent, which allows us to carry out an unprecedented photometric study of the PN population in the outer regions of M87. We find that the logarithmic density profile of the PN distribution is shallower than the surface brightness profile at large radii. This behaviour is consistent with the superposition of two components associated with the halo of M87 and with the ICL, which have different luminosity specific PN numbers, the ICL contributing three times more PNs per unit light. Because of the depth of this survey we are also able to study the shape of the PN luminosity function (PNLF) in the outer regions of M87. We find a slope for the PNLF that is steeper at fainter magnitudes than the standard analytical PNLF formula and adopt a generalised model that treats the slope as a free parameter. Comparing the PNLF of M87 and the M31 bulge, both normalised by the sampled luminosity, the M87 PNLF contains fewer bright PNs and has a steeper slope towards fainter magnitudes.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2013; 558. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321652 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The stellar kinematics of the spheroids and discs of S0 galaxies contain clues to their formation histories. Unfortunately, it is difficult to disentangle the two components and to recover their stellar kinematics in the faint outer parts of the galaxies using conventional absorption line spectroscopy. This paper therefore presents the stellar kinematics of six S0 galaxies derived from observations of planetary nebulae, obtained using the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph. To separate the kinematics of the two components, we use a maximum-likelihood method that combines the discrete kinematic data with a photometric component decomposition. The results of this analysis reveal that: the discs of S0 galaxies are rotationally supported; however, the amount of random motion in these discs is systematically higher than in comparable spiral galaxies; and the S0s lie around one magnitude below the Tully-Fisher relation for spiral galaxies, while their spheroids lie nearly one magnitude above the Faber-Jackson relation for ellipticals. All of these findings are consistent with a scenario in which spirals are converted into S0s through a process of mild harassment or `pestering,' with their discs somewhat heated and their spheroid somewhat enhanced by the conversion process. In such a scenario, one might expect the properties of S0s to depend on environment. We do not see such an effect in this fairly small sample, although any differences would be diluted by the fact that the current location does not necessarily reflect the environment in which the transformation occurred. Similar observations of larger samples probing a broader range of environments, coupled with more detailed modelling of the transformation process to match the wide range of parameters that we have shown can now be measured, should take us from these first steps to the definitive answer as to how S0 galaxies form.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2013; 432(2):1010-1020. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt529 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context. The origins of S0 galaxies remain obscure, with various mechanisms proposed for their formation, likely depending on environment. These mechanisms would imprint different signatures in the galaxies' stellar kinematics out to large radii, offering a method for distinguishing between them. Aims: We aim to study a sample of six S0 galaxies from a range of environments, and use planetary nebulae (PNe) as tracers of their stellar populations out to very large radii, to determine their kinematics in order to understand their origins. Methods: Using a special-purpose instrument, the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph, we observe and extract PNe catalogues for these six systems. Results: We show that the PNe have the same spatial distribution as the starlight, that the numbers of them are consistent with what would be expected in a comparable old stellar population in elliptical galaxies, and that their kinematics join smoothly onto those derived at smaller radii from conventional spectroscopy. Conclusions: The high-quality kinematic observations presented here form an excellent set for studying the detailed kinematics of S0 galaxies, in order to unravel their formation histories. We find that PNe are good tracers of stellar kinematics in these systems. We show that the recovered kinematics are largely dominated by rotational motion, although with significant random velocities in most cases. Full Tables 3-7 are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/549/A115
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2013; 549. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201220306 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The shape of the dark matter halo of a galaxy offers valuable clues on the physical nature of dark matter. In this series of papers, we model the structure and kinematics of the baryons in edge-on galaxies. The flaring of the HI disk provides a measure of the vertical force field of that disk. In a similar way, the rotation curve provides a measure of the horizontal force field. As the galaxies are at rest, the combination of these two provides all the required ingredients for full hydrostatic models. We use these models to analyze their potential wells as generated by the dark matter halo and its shape. In this first paper, we explain this project in more detail and present the HI observations of our sample of 8 edge-on galaxies. We also argue that self-absorption of the HI has a significant effect in these galaxies.
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    ABSTRACT: The RAVE survey, combined with proper motions and distance estimates, can be used to study in detail stellar kinematics in the extended solar neighbourhood (solar suburb). Using the red clump, we examine the mean velocity components in 3D between an R of 6 and 10 kpc and a Z of -2 to 2 kpc, concentrating on North-South differences. Simple parametric fits to the R, Z trends for VPHI and the velocity dispersions are presented. We confirm the recently discovered gradient in mean Galactocentric radial velocity, VR, finding that the gradient is more marked below the plane, with a Z gradient also present. The vertical velocity, VZ, also shows clear structure, with indications of a rarefaction-compression pattern, suggestive of wave-like behaviour. We perform a rigorous error analysis, tracing sources of both systematic and random errors. We confirm the North-South differences in VR and VZ along the line-of-sight, with the VR estimated independent of the proper motions. The complex three-dimensional structure of velocity space presents challenges for future modelling of the Galactic disk, with the Galactic bar, spiral arms and excitation of wave-like structures all probably playing a role.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2013; 436(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1522 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sky background is over 1000 times brighter in the near-infrared (NIR) than in the visible placing severe limitations on our ability to study the redshifted light from the distant objects formed in the early Universe from the ground. It is well-known that 98% of the NIR background comes from the forest of bright and highly variable emission lines of atmospheric hydroxyl (OH) molecules. Unfortunately, astronomers have been unable to effectively remove this background from their data. We present the first OH suppression unit, GNOSIS, to utilize fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs). Simple FBGs are optical fibers with a periodic refractive index modulation imprinted within the fiber core, which induces a strong reflection in a narrow 0.2 nm) stopband. GNOSIS utilizes “OH suppression fibers” with a complex aperiodic refractive index modulation capable of removing the 103 brightest OH doublets between 1470 and 1700 nm by up 30 dB before dispersion and in a manner purely dependent on wavelength. The OH suppression fibers have high throughput 60%) and over 90% of the H band is available for spectroscopy. OH suppression units like GNOSIS may be utilized with any NIR telescope and spectrograph combination, but we commissioned GNOSIS at the 3.9-meter Anglo-Australian Telescope with the IRIS2 spectrograph for our first demonstration. Commissioning reveals excellent suppression performance. Approximately 78% of the OH lines were suppressed at the target level or greater. GNOSIS reduces the integrated background between 1500 and 1700 nm by a factor of ~ 9 but the signal-to-noise ratio is about the same as standard long-slit IRIS2 observations due to retrofitting to an un-optimized spectrograph. Nevertheless, if paired with a fiber-optimized spectrograph FBG OH suppression technology shows great promise for high sensitivity NIR spectroscopy at moderate to low resolutions from the ground.
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    ABSTRACT: We perform numerical simulations of a stellar galactic disk with initial conditions chosen to represent an unrelaxed population which might have been left following a merger. Stars are unevenly distributed in radial action angle, though the disk is axisymmetric. The velocity distribution in the simulated Solar neighborhood exhibits waves traveling in the direction of positive v, where u, v are the radial and tangential velocity components. As the system relaxes and structure wraps in phase space, the features seen in the uv-plane move closer together. We show that these results can be obtained also by a semi-analytical method. We propose that this model could provide an explanation for the high velocity streams seen in the Solar neighborhood at approximate v in km/s, of-60 (HR 1614),-80 (Arifyanto and Fuchs 2006),-100 (Arcturus), and-160 (Klement et al. 2008). In addition, we predict four new features at v ≈-140,-120, 40 and 60 km/s. By matching the number and positions of the observed streams, we estimate that the Milky Way disk was strongly perturbed ∼1.9 Gyr ago. This event could have been associated with Galactic bar formation. Subject headings: stellar dynamics 1.
  • Article: AND
    M. Vlajić · J. Bland-hawthorn · K. C. Freeman
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    ABSTRACT: In earlier work, we showed for the first time that the resolved stellar disk of NGC 300 is very extended with no evidence for truncation, a phenomenon that has since been observed in other disk galaxies. We revisit the outer disk of NGC 300 in order to determine the metallicity of the faint stellar population. With the GMOS camera at Gemini South, we reach 50 % completeness at (g ′ , i ′ ) = (26.8 − 27.4,26.1 − 27.0) in photometric conditions and 0.7 " seeing. At these faint depths, careful consideration must be given to the background galaxy population. The mean colors of the outer disk stars fall within the spread of colors for the background galaxies, but the stellar density dominates the background galaxies by ∼ 2: 1. The predominantly old stellar population in the outer disk exhibits a negative abundance gradient – as expected from models of galaxy evolution – out to about 10 kpc where the abundance trend changes sign. We present two scenarios to explain the flattening, or upturn, in the metallicity gradient of NGC 300 and discuss the implication this has for the broader picture of galaxy formation.
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    ABSTRACT: The origins of S0 galaxies remain obscure, with various mechanisms proposed for their formation, likely depending on environment. These mechanisms would imprint different signatures in the galaxies' stellar kinematics out to large radii, offering a method for distinguishing between them. We aim to study a sample of six S0 galaxies from a range of environments, and use planetary nebulae (PNe) as tracers of their stellar populations out to very large radii, to determine their kinematics in order to understand their origins. Using a special-purpose instrument, the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph, we observe and extract PNe catalogues for these six systems. We show that the PNe have the same spatial distribution as the starlight, that the numbers of them are consistent with what would be expected in a comparable old stellar population in elliptical galaxies, and that their kinematics join smoothly onto those derived at smaller radii from conventional spectroscopy. The high-quality kinematic observations presented here form an excellent set for studying the detailed kinematics of S0 galaxies, in order to unravel their formation histories. We find that PNe are good tracers of stellar kinematics in these systems. We show that the recovered kinematics are largely dominated by rotational motion, although with significant random velocities in most cases. (5 data files).

Publication Stats

9k Citations
1,155.66 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1983–2014
    • Australian National University
      • • Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics
      • • Mount Stromlo Observatory
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 2008–2012
    • University of Canberra
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    • The Astronomical Observatory of Brera
      Merate, Lombardy, Italy
    • National University (California)
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1994–2009
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Astronomy
      • • Department of Physics
      Seattle, WA, United States
    • University of Padova
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy "Galileo Galilei"
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
  • 2002–2008
    • ANU College
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      • Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy
      Boulder, CO, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Nottingham
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Nottigham, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of Santiago, Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile
  • 2005–2006
    • Royal Society for Asian Affairs
      Weston Turville, England, United Kingdom
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
    • Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
      San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
  • 2004
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2003
    • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1999–2002
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
      Livermore, California, United States
    • The University of Sheffield
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
  • 2001
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1999–2001
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    • Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
  • 2000
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 1998
    • Astronomical Society of Australia
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 1997
    • The Ohio State University
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 1996
    • University of California, Santa Barbara
      • Department of Physics
      Santa Barbara, California, United States
    • Pasadena City College
      Pasadena, Texas, United States
  • 1995
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • Department of Astronomy
      Mississippi, United States
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Physics
      Berkeley, California, United States
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Physics
      Davis, CA, United States
  • 1984–1987
    • University of Groningen
      • Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
      Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands