E. K. Grebel

Universität Heidelberg, Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (572)1380.29 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 (ω Cen) and NGC 362 – all of which are shown to have |RV| > 100 km s −1. The high radial velocity of cluster members compared to the bulk of surrounding disc stars enables us to identify members using their measured radial velocities, supplemented by proper motion information and location relative to the tidal radius of each cluster. 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 ω 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. (2014), 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.
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    ABSTRACT: We study the kinematics of a local sample of stars, located within a cylinder of 500 pc radius centered on the Sun, in the RAVE dataset. We find clear asymmetries in the $v_R$-$v_\phi$ velocity distributions of thin and thick disk stars: here are more stars moving radially outwards for low azimuthal velocities and more radially inwards for high azimuthal velocities. Such asymmetries have been previously reported for the thin disk as being due to the Galactic bar, but this is the first time that the same type of structures are seen in the thick disk. Our findings imply that the velocities of thick disk stars should no longer be described by Schwarzschild's, multivariate Gaussian or purely axisymmetric distributions. Furthermore, the nature of previously reported substructures in the thick disk needs to be revisited as these could be associated with dynamical resonances rather than to accretion events. It is clear that dynamical models of the Galaxy must fit the 3D velocity distributions of the disks, rather than the projected 1D, if we are to understand the Galaxy fully.
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    ABSTRACT: We study the kinematics of a local sample of stars, located within a cylinder of radius centered on the Sun, in the RAVE data set. We find clear asymmetries in the - velocity distributions of thin and thick disk stars: there are more stars moving radially outward for low azimuthal velocities and more radially inward for high azimuthal velocities. Such asymmetries have been previously reported for the thin disk as being due to the Galactic bar, but this is the first time that the same type of structures are seen in the thick disk. Our findings imply that the velocities of thick-disk stars should no longer be described by Schwarzschild's, multivariate Gaussian or purely axisymmetric distributions. Furthermore, the nature of previously reported substructures in the thick disk needs to be revisited as these could be associated with dynamical resonances rather than to accretion events. It is clear that dynamical models of the Galaxy must fit the 3D velocity distributions of the disks, rather than the projected 1D, if we are to understand the Galaxy fully.
    02/2015; 800(2):L32. DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/800/2/L32
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    ABSTRACT: The third generation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) took data from 2008 to 2014 using the original SDSS wide-field imager, the original and an upgraded multi-object fiber-fed optical spectrograph, a new near-infrared high-resolution spectrograph, and a novel optical interferometer. All the data from SDSS-III are now made public. In particular, this paper describes Data Release 11 (DR11) including all data acquired through 2013 July, and Data Release 12 (DR12) adding data acquired through 2014 July (including all data included in previous data releases), marking the end of SDSS-III observing. Relative to our previous public release (DR10), DR12 adds one million new spectra of galaxies and quasars from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) over an additional 3000 sq. deg of sky, more than triples the number of H-band spectra of stars as part of the Apache Point Observatory (APO) Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), and includes repeated accurate radial velocity measurements of 5500 stars from the Multi-Object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). The APOGEE outputs now include measured abundances of 15 different elements for each star. In total, SDSS-III added 5200 sq. deg of ugriz imaging; 155,520 spectra of 138,099 stars as part of the Sloan Exploration of Galactic Understanding and Evolution 2 (SEGUE-2) survey; 2,497,484 BOSS spectra of 1,372,737 galaxies, 294,512 quasars, and 247,216 stars over 9376 sq. deg; 618,080 APOGEE spectra of 156,593 stars; and 197,040 MARVELS spectra of 5,513 stars. Since its first light in 1998, SDSS has imaged over 1/3 the Celestial sphere in five bands and obtained over five million astronomical spectra.
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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 super-solar metallicity stars ([M/H] > +0.1 dex) in the sample, and in particular in the Solar neighbourhood. We find that RAVE is rich in super-solar 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 super-solar metallicity stars are identical to those of the [M/H] < 0 thin-disc giants that we presume were locally manufactured. The eccentricities of the super-solar 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 aim to characterize high-velocity (HiVel) stars in the solar vicinity both chemically and kinematically using the fourth data release of the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE). We used a sample of 57 HiVel stars with Galactic rest-frame velocities larger than 275 km s$^{-1}$. With 6D position and velocity information, we integrated the orbits of the HiVel stars and found that, on average, they reach out to 13 kpc from the Galactic plane and have relatively eccentric orbits consistent with the Galactic halo. Using the stellar parameters and [$\alpha$/Fe] estimates from RAVE, we found the metallicity distribution of the HiVel stars peak at [M/H] = -1.2 dex and is chemically consistent with the inner halo. There are a few notable exceptions that include a hypervelocity star (HVS) candidate, an extremely high-velocity bound halo star, and one star that is kinematically consistent with the halo but chemically consistent with the disk. High-resolution spectra were obtained for the metal-rich HiVel star candidate and the second highest velocity star in the sample. Using these high-resolution data, we report the discovery of a metal-rich halo star that has likely been dynamically ejected into the halo from the Galactic thick disk. This discovery could aid in explaining the assembly of the most metal-rich component of the Galactic halo.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 12/2014; 447(2). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu2574 · 5.23 Impact Factor
  • Eva K. Grebel
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    ABSTRACT: The Amazing Galactic archaeology: With the help of huge databases and new models, astronomers are learning more about the evolution of our home galaxy and spiral galaxies as a galaxy class.
    German Research 12/2014; 36(3). DOI:10.1002/germ.201590007
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    V. Lora, A. C. Raga, E. K. Grebel
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    ABSTRACT: Dwarf Galaxies are the most common objects in the Universe and are believed to contain large amounts of dark matter. There are mainly three morphologic types of dwarf galaxies: dwarf ellipticals, dwarf spheroidals and dwarf irregulars. Dwarf irregular galaxies are particularly interesting in dwarf galaxy evolution, since dwarf spheroidal predecessors could have been very similar to them. Therefore, a mechanism linked to gas-loss in dwarf irregulars should be observed, i.e. ram pressure stripping. In this paper, we study the interaction between the ISM of a dwarf galaxy, and a flowing IGM. We derive the weak-shock, plasmon solution corresponding to the balance between the post-bow shock pressure and the pressure of the stratified ISM (which we assume follows the fixed stratification of a gravitationally dominant dark matter halo). We compare our model with previously published numerical simulations and with the observed shape of the HI cloud around the Ho II and Pegasus dwarf irregular galaxies. We show that such a comparison provides a straightforward way for estimating the Mach number of the impinging flow.
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    ABSTRACT: The Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS) is a Cycle 21 Treasury program on the Hubble Space Telescope, aimed at the investigation of star formation and its relation with galactic environment in nearby galaxies, from the scales of individual stars to those of ~kpc-size clustered structures. Five-band imaging, from the near-ultraviolet to the I-band, with the Wide Field Camera 3, plus parallel optical imaging with the Advanced Camera for Surveys, is being collected for selected pointings of 50 galaxies within the local 12 Mpc. The filters used for the observations with the Wide Field Camera 3 are: F275W(2,704 A), F336W(3,355 A), F438W(4,325 A), F555W(5,308 A), and F814W(8,024 A); the parallel observations with the Advanced Camera for Surveys use the filters: F435W(4,328 A), F606W(5,921 A), and F814W(8,057 A). The multi-band images are yielding accurate recent (<~50 Myr) star formation histories from resolved massive stars and the extinction-corrected ages and masses of star clusters and associations. The extensive inventories of massive stars and clustered systems will be used to investigate the spatial and temporal evolution of star formation within galaxies. This will, in turn, inform theories of galaxy evolution and improve the understanding of the physical underpinning of the gas-star formation relation and the nature of star formation at high redshift. This paper describes the survey, its goals and observational strategy, and the initial science results. Because LEGUS will provide a reference survey and a foundation for future observations with JWST and with ALMA, a large number of data products are planned for delivery to the community.
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of a giant stellar tidal stream in the halo of NGC 4631, a nearby edge-on spiral galaxy interacting with the spiral NGC 4656, in deep images taken with a 40-cm aperture robotic telescope. The stream has two components: a bridge-like feature extended between NGC 4631 and NGC 4656 (stream_SE) and an overdensity with extended features on the opposite side of the NGC 4631 disk (stream_NW). Together, these features extend more than 85 kpc and display a clear (g-r) colour gradient. The orientation of stream_SE relative to the orientations of NGC 4631 and NGC 4656 is not consistent with an origin from interaction between these two spirals, and is more likely debris from a satellite encounter. The stellar tidal features can be qualitatively reproduced in an N-body model of the tidal disruption of a single, massive dwarf satellite on a moderately eccentric orbit (e=0.6) around NGC 4631 over $\sim$ 3.5 Gyr, with a dynamical mass ratio (m1:m2) of ~40. Both modelling and inferences from the morphology of the streams indicate these are not associated with the complex HI tidal features observed between both spirals, which likely originate from a more recent, gas-rich accretion event. The detailed structure of stream_NW suggests it may contain the progenitor of the stream, in agreement with the N-body model. In addition, stream_NW is roughly aligned with two very faint dwarf spheroidal candidates. The system of dwarf galaxies and the tidal stream around NGC 4631 can provide an additional interesting case for exploring the anisotropy distribution of satellite galaxies recently reported in Local Group spiral galaxies by means of future follow-up observations.
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    ABSTRACT: Our dataset contains spectroscopic observations of 29 globular clusters in the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way performed with VLT/X-shooter. Here we present detailed data reduction procedures for the VLT/X-shooter UVB and VIS arm. These are not restricted to our particular dataset, but are generally applicable to different kinds of X-shooter data without major limitation on the astronomical object of interest. The packaged pipeline provided by ESO (v1.5.0) performs well and reliably for the wavelength calibration and the associated rectification procedure, yet we find several weaknesses in the reduction cascade that are addressed with additional calibration steps, such as bad pixel interpolation, flat fielding, and slit illumination corrections. Furthermore, the instrumental PSF is analytically modeled and used to reconstruct flux losses at slit transit and for optimally extracting point sources. Regular observations of spectrophotometric standard stars allow us to detect instrumental variability, which needs to be understood if a reliable absolute flux calibration is desired. A cascade of additional custom calibration steps is presented that allows for an absolute flux calibration uncertainty of less than ten percent under virtually every observational setup provided that the signal-to-noise ratio is sufficiently high. The optimal extraction increases the signal-to-noise ratio typically by a factor of 1.5, while simultaneously correcting for resulting flux losses. The wavelength calibration is found to be accurate to an uncertainty level of approximately 0.02 Angstrom. We find that most of the X-shooter systematics can be reliably modeled and corrected for. This offers the possibility of comparing observations on different nights and with different telescope pointings and instrumental setups, thereby facilitating a robust statistical analysis of large datasets.
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    ABSTRACT: We present evidence for mass segregation in the outer halo globular cluster Palomar 14, which is intuitively unexpected since its present-day two-body relaxation time significantly exceeds the Hubble time. Based on archival Hubble Space Telescope imaging, we analyse the radial dependence of the stellar mass function in the cluster's inner 39.2 pc in the mass range of 0.53 <= m <= 0.80 M&sun;, ranging from the main-sequence turn-off down to a V-band magnitude of 27.1 mag. The mass function at different radii is well approximated by a power law and rises from a shallow slope of 0.6 ± 0.2 in the cluster's core to a slope of 1.6 ± 0.3 beyond 18.6 pc. This is seemingly in conflict with the finding by Beccari et al., who interpret the cluster's non-segregated population of (more massive) blue straggler stars, compared to (less massive) red giants and horizontal branch stars, as evidence that the cluster has not experienced dynamical segregation yet. We discuss how both results can be reconciled. Our findings indicate that the cluster was either primordially mass segregated and/or used to be significantly more compact in the past. For the latter case, we propose tidal shocks as the mechanism driving the cluster's expansion, which would imply that Palomar 14 is on a highly eccentric orbit. Conversely, if the cluster formed already extended and with primordial mass segregation, this could support an accretion origin of the cluster.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2014; 443(1):815-827. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu1197 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relations between oxygen abundance and disk surface brightness (OH-SB relation) in the infrared W1 band are examined for a nearby late-type galaxies. The oxygen abundances were presented in Paper I. The photometric characteristics of the disks are inferred here using photometric maps from the literature through bulge-disk decomposition. We find evidence that the OH - SB relation is not unique but depends on the galactocentric distance r (taken as a fraction of the optical radius R_25) and on the properties of a galaxy: the disk scale length h and the morphological T-type. The parametric OH - SB relation reproduces the observed data better than a simple, one-parameter relation; the deviations resulting when using our parametric relation are smaller by a factor of ~1.4 than that the simple relation. The influence of the parameters on the OH - SB relation varies with galactocentric distance. The influence of the T-type on the OH - SB relation is negligible at the centers of galaxies and increases with galactocentric distance. In contrast, the influence of the disk scale length on the OH -- SB relation is maximum at the centers of galaxies and decreases with galactocentric distance, disappearing at the optical edges of galaxies. Two-dimensional relations can be used to reproduce the observed data at the optical edges of the disks and at the centers of the disks. The disk scale length should be used as a second parameter in the OH - SB relation at the center of the disk while the morphological T-type should be used as a second parameter in the relation at optical edge of the disk. The general properties of the abundance - surface brightness relations are similar for the three considered bands B, K, and W1.
    The Astronomical Journal 08/2014; 148(6). DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/148/6/134 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of a circular mid-infrared shell around the emission-line star Wray 16-137 using archival data of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Follow-up optical spectroscopy of Wray 16-137 with the Southern African Large Telescope revealed a rich emission spectrum typical of the classical luminous blue variables (LBVs) like P Cygni. Subsequent spectroscopic and photometric observations showed drastic changes in the spectrum and brightness during the last three years, meaning that Wray 16-137 currently undergoes an S Dor-like outburst. Namely, we found that the star has brightened by \approx 1 mag in the V and I_c bands, while its spectrum became dominated by Fe ii lines. Taken together, our observations unambiguously show that Wray 16-137 is a new member of the family of Galactic bona fide LBVs.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters 08/2014; 445(1). DOI:10.1093/mnrasl/slu141 · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stellar population studies of globular clusters have suggested that the brightest clusters in the Galaxy might actually be the remnant nuclei of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. If the present Galactic globular clusters formed within larger stellar systems, they are likely surrounded by extra-tidal halos and/or tails made up of stars that were tidally stripped from their parent systems. The stellar surroundings around globular clusters are therefore one of the best places to look for the remnants of an ancient dwarf galaxy. Here an attempt is made to search for tidal debris around the supernovae enriched globular clusters M22 and NGC 1851 as well as the kinematically unique cluster NGC 3201. The stellar parameters from the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) are used to identify stars with RAVE metallicities, radial velocities and elemental-abundances consistent with the abundance patterns and properties of the stars in M22, NGC 1851 and NGC 3201. The discovery of RAVE stars that may be associated with M22 and NGC 1851 are reported, some of which are at projected distances of ~10 degrees away from the core of these clusters. Numerous RAVE stars associated with NGC 3201 suggest that either the tidal radius of this cluster is underestimated, or that there are some unbound stars extending a few arc minutes from the edge of the cluster's radius. No further extra-tidal stars associated with NGC 3201 could be identified. The bright magnitudes of the RAVE stars make them easy targets for high resolution follow-up observations, allowing an eventual further chemical tagging to solidify (or exclude) stars outside the tidal radius of the cluster as tidal debris. In both our radial velocity histograms of the regions surrounding NGC 1851 and NGC 3201, a peak of stars at 230 km/s is seen, consistent with extended tidal debris from omega Centauri.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2014; 572. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424113 · 4.48 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: The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are absorption lines observed in visual and near-infrared spectra of stars. Understanding their origin in the interstellar medium is one of the oldest problems in astronomical spectroscopy, as DIBs have been known since 1922. In a completely new approach to understanding DIBs, we combined information from nearly 500,000 stellar spectra obtained by the massive spectroscopic survey RAVE (Radial Velocity Experiment) to produce the first pseudo-three-dimensional map of the strength of the DIB at 8620 angstroms covering the nearest 3 kiloparsecs from the Sun, and show that it follows our independently constructed spatial distribution of extinction by interstellar dust along the Galactic plane. Despite having a similar distribution in the Galactic plane, the DIB 8620 carrier has a significantly larger vertical scale height than the dust. Even if one DIB may not represent the general DIB population, our observations outline the future direction of DIB research.
    Science 08/2014; 345(6198):791-5. DOI:10.1126/science.1253171 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has recently been suggested that high-density clusters have stellar age distributions narrower than that of the Orion Nebula Cluster, indicating a possible trend of narrower age distributions for denser clusters. We show this effect to likely arise from star formation being faster in gas with a higher density. We model the star formation history of molecular clumps in equilibrium by associating a star formation efficiency (SFE) per free-fall time, \eff, to their volume density profile. Our model predicts a steady decline of the star formation rate (SFR), which we quantify with its half-life time, namely, the time needed for the SFR to drop to half its initial value. Given the uncertainties affecting the SFE per free-fall time, we consider two distinct values: 0.1 and 0.01. For isothermal spheres, \eff=0.1 leads to a half-life time of order the clump free-fall time, \tff. Therefore, the age distributions of stars formed in high-density clumps have smaller full-widths at half-maximum than those of stars formed in low-density clumps. When \eff=0.01, the half-life time is 10 times longer. We explore what happens if the star formation duration is shorter than 10\tff, that is, if the half-life time of the SFR cannot be defined. There, we build on the invariance of the shape of the young cluster mass function to show that an anti-correlation between clump density and star formation duration is expected. Therefore, regardless of whether the star formation duration is longer than the SFR half-life time, denser molecular clumps yield narrower star age distributions in clusters. Published densities and stellar age spreads of young clusters actually suggest that the time-scale for star formation is of order 1-4\tff. We conclude that there is no need to invoke the existence of multiple cluster formation mechanisms to explain the observed range of stellar age spreads in clusters.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 791(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/132 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we develop a simple analytical criterion to investigate the role of the environment on the onset of star formation. We will consider the main external agents that influence the star formation (i.e. ram pressure, tidal interaction, Rayleigh-Taylor and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities) in a spherical galaxy moving through an external environment. The theoretical framework developed here has direct applications to the cases of dwarf galaxies in galaxy clusters and dwarf galaxies orbiting our Milky Way system, as well as any primordial gas-rich cluster of stars orbiting within its host galaxy. We develop an analytic formalism to solve the fluid dynamics equations in a non-inertial reference frame mapped with spherical coordinates. The two-fluids instability at the interface between a stellar system and its surrounding hotter and less dense environment is related to the star formation processes through a set of differential equations. The solution presented here is quite general, allowing us to investigate most kinds of orbits allowed in a gravitationally bound system of stars in interaction with a major massive companion. We present an analytical criterion and some simple numerical and observational applications to elucidate the dependence of star formation in a stellar system on its surrounding environment. This criterion predicts the threshold value for the onset of star formation in a mass vs. size space for any orbit of interest. Moreover, we make evident for the first time the theoretical dependencies of the different instability phenomena acting on a system in a fully analytical way.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2014; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424502 · 4.48 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

Publication Stats

14k Citations
1,380.29 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2015
    • Universität Heidelberg
      • Centre for Astronomy (ZAH)
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2014
    • University of Cambridge
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1999–2012
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Astronomy
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Astronomy
      Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 2004–2009
    • Universität Basel
      • Department of Physics
      Basel, BS, Switzerland
    • University of Leicester
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Leiscester, England, United Kingdom
  • 1996–2009
    • University of Wuerzburg
      Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2008
    • Australian National University
      • Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 2000–2008
    • Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1997–2008
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 1991–2008
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2004–2007
    • University of Chicago
      • • Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
      • • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Central Lancashire
      Preston, England, United Kingdom
  • 2005
    • University of California, Berkeley
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2002–2005
    • University of Concepción
      Ciudad de Concepcion, Biobío, Chile
    • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)
      Batavia, Illinois, United States
    • University of Bonn
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2003
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Physics
      Davis, California, United States
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1999–2001
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Astronomy
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States