Constance M. Rockosi

University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States

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Publications (180)635.91 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Using G dwarfs from the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) survey, we have determined a vertical metallicity gradient over a large volume of the Milky Way's disk, and examined how this gradient varies for different [a/Fe] subsamples. This sample contains over 40,000 stars with low-resolution spectroscopy over 144 lines of sight. We employ the SEGUE Stellar Parameter Pipeline (SSPP) to obtain estimates of effective temperature, surface gravity, [Fe/H], and [a/Fe] for each star and extract multiple volume-complete subsamples of approximately 1000 stars each. Based on the survey's consistent target-selection algorithm, we adjust each subsample to determine an unbiased picture of the disk in [Fe/H] and [a/Fe]; consequently, each individual star represents the properties of many. The SEGUE sample allows us to constrain the vertical metallicity gradient for a large number of stars over a significant volume of the disk, between ~0.3 and 1.6 kpc from the Galactic plane, and examine the in situ structure, in contrast to previous analyses which are more limited in scope. This work does not pre-suppose a disk structure, whether composed of a single complex population or a distinct thin and thick disk component. The metallicity gradient is -0.243 +0.039 -0.053 dex/kpc for the sample as a whole, which we compare to various literature results. Each [a/Fe] subsample dominates at a different range of heights above the plane of the Galaxy, which is exhibited in the gradient found in the sample as a whole. Stars over a limited range in [a/Fe] show little change in median [Fe/H] with height. If we associate [a/Fe] with age, our consistent vertical metallicity gradients with [a/Fe] suggest that stars formed in different epochs exhibit comparable vertical structure, implying similar star-formation processes and evolution.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2014; 791(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We measure the 3-D two-point correlation function statistic of G-dwarf stars in the Milky Way. The G-dwarf sample is constructed from SDSS SEGUE data by Schlesinger et al. (2012). We find that the shapes of the correlation functions along individual SEGUE lines of sight depend sensitively on both the stellar density gradients and the survey geometry. We compare these SEGUE measurements with mock measurements from smooth disk galaxy models to obtain strong constraints on the thin and thick disk components of the Milky Way.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a method for the determination of stellar [C/Fe] abundance ratios using low-resolution (R = 2000) stellar spectra from the SDSS and SEGUE. By means of a star-by-star comparison with a set of SDSS/SEGUE spectra with available estimates of [C/Fe] based on published high-resolution analyses, we demonstrate that we can measure [C/Fe] from SDSS/SEGUE spectra with S/N > 15 to a precision better than 0.35 dex. Using the measured carbon-to-iron abundance ratios obtained by this technique, we derive the frequency of carbon-enhanced stars ([C/Fe] > +0.7) as a function of [Fe/H], for both the SDSS/SEGUE stars and other samples from the literature. We find that the differential frequency slowly rises from almost zero to about 14% at [Fe/H] ~ -2.4, followed by a sudden increase, by about a factor of three, to 39% from [Fe/H] ~ -2.4 to [Fe/H] ~ -3.7. We also examine how the cumulative frequency of CEMP stars varies across different luminosity classes. The giant sample exhibits a cumulative CEMP frequency of 32% for [Fe/H] < -2.5, 31% for [Fe/H] < -3.0, and 33% for [Fe/H] < -3.5. For the main-sequence turnoff stars, we obtain a lower cumulative CEMP frequency, around 10% for [Fe/H] < -2.5. The dwarf population displays a large change in the cumulative frequency for CEMP stars below [Fe/H] = -2.5, jumping from 15% for [Fe/H] < -2.5 to about 75% for [Fe/H] < -3.0. When we impose a restriction with respect to distance from the Galactic mid-plane (|Z| < 5 kpc), the frequency of the CEMP giants does not increase at low metallicity ([Fe/H] < -2.5), but rather, decreases, due to the dilution of C-rich material in stars that have undergone mixing with CNO-processed material from their interiors. The frequency of CEMP stars near the main-sequence turnoff, which are not expected to have experienced mixing, increases for [Fe/H] < -3.0. [abridged]
    The Astronomical Journal 10/2013; 146(5). · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has been in operation since 2000 April. This paper presents the tenth public data release (DR10) from its current incarnation, SDSS-III. This data release includes the first spectroscopic data from the Apache Point Observatory Galaxy Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), along with spectroscopic data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) taken through 2012 July. The APOGEE instrument is a near-infrared R~22,500 300-fiber spectrograph covering 1.514--1.696 microns. The APOGEE survey is studying the chemical abundances and radial velocities of roughly 100,000 red giant star candidates in the bulge, bar, disk, and halo of the Milky Way. DR10 includes 178,397 spectra of 57,454 stars, each typically observed three or more times, from APOGEE. Derived quantities from these spectra (radial velocities, effective temperatures, surface gravities, and metallicities) are also included.DR10 also roughly doubles the number of BOSS spectra over those included in the ninth data release. DR10 includes a total of 1,507,954 BOSS spectra, comprising 927,844 galaxy spectra; 182,009 quasar spectra; and 159,327 stellar spectra, selected over 6373.2 square degrees.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 07/2013; 211(2). · 16.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss a novel approach to "weighing" the Milky Way dark matter halo, one that combines the latest samples of halo stars selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) with state-of-the-art numerical simulations of Milky Way analogs. The fully cosmological runs employed in the present study include "Eris", one of the highest-resolution hydrodynamical simulations of the formation of a M_vir=8e11 M_sun late-type spiral, and the dark-matter only M_vir=1.7e12 M_sun "Via Lactea II" simulation. Eris provides an excellent laboratory for creating mock SDSS samples of tracer halo stars, and we successfully compare their density, velocity anisotropy, and radial velocity dispersion profiles with the observational data. Most mock SDSS realizations show the same "cold veil" recently observed in the distant stellar halo of the Milky Way, with tracers as cold as sigma_los ~ 50 km/s between 100-150 kpc. Controlled experiments based on the integration of the spherical Jeans equation as well as a particle tagging technique applied to Via Lactea II show that a "heavy" M_vir 2e12 M_sun realistic host produces a poor fit to the kinematic SDSS data. We argue that these results offer added evidence for a "light," centrally-concentrated Milky Way halo.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 07/2013; 773(2). · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an online catalog of distance determinations for 4781 K giants, most of which are members of the Milky Way's stellar halo. Their spectra from SDSS/SEGUE provide metallicities with accuracies \Delta [Fe/H]\approx\pm0.2 dex and giant-dwarf distinction. The distance moduli are derived from a comparison of each star's apparent magnitude with the absolute magnitude of empirically calibrated color-luminosity fiducials, at the observed (g-r)_0 color and spectroscopic [Fe/H]. We employ a probabilistic approach that makes it straightforward to propagate the errors in metallicities, magnitudes, and colors properly into distance uncertainties. We also fold in prior information about the giant-branch luminosity function and different metallicity distributions of the SEGUE K-giant targeting sub-categories. We show that the metallicity prior plays little role in the distance estimates, but that neglecting the luminosity prior would lead to a systematic distance modulus bias of up to 0.2 mag. We find a median distance precision of 12%, with distance estimates most precise for the least metal-poor stars near the tip of the red-giant branch. We use globular and open clusters to verify the precision and accuracy of our distance estimates. The stars in our publicly available catalog are up to 110 kpc distant from the Galactic center, with 270 stars beyond 50 kpc, forming the largest sample of distant tracers in the Galactic halo.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2012; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the design and performance of the multi-object fiber spectrographs for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and their upgrade for the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). Originally commissioned in Fall 1999 on the 2.5-m aperture Sloan Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, the spectrographs produced more than 1.5 million spectra for the SDSS and SDSS-II surveys, enabling a wide variety of Galactic and extra-galactic science including the first observation of baryon acoustic oscillations in 2005. The spectrographs were upgraded in 2009 and are currently in use for BOSS, the flagship survey of the third-generation SDSS-III project. BOSS will measure redshifts of 1.35 million massive galaxies to redshift 0.7 and Lyman-alpha absorption of 160,000 high redshift quasars over 10,000 square degrees of sky, making percent level measurements of the absolute cosmic distance scale of the Universe and placing tight constraints on the equation of state of dark energy. The twin multi-object fiber spectrographs utilize a simple optical layout with reflective collimators, gratings, all-refractive cameras, and state-of-the-art CCD detectors to produce hundreds of spectra simultaneously in two channels over a bandpass covering the near ultraviolet to the near infrared, with a resolving power R = \lambda/FWHM ~ 2000. Building on proven heritage, the spectrographs were upgraded for BOSS with volume-phase holographic gratings and modern CCD detectors, improving the peak throughput by nearly a factor of two, extending the bandpass to cover 360 < \lambda < 1000 nm, and increasing the number of fibers from 640 to 1000 per exposure. In this paper we describe the original SDSS spectrograph design and the upgrades implemented for BOSS, and document the predicted and measured performances.
    The Astronomical Journal 08/2012; 146(2). · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detailed observations of the Galaxy can be used to test predictions made by models of disk formation and evolution, and they serve to complement large surveys that study galaxies at high redshift. The observed radial and vertical metallicity distribution of old stars in the Milky Way disk provides powerful constraints on the chemical enrichment and dynamical history of the disk. We present trends in [Fe/H] and [α/Fe] as a function of Galactocentric radius R and height above the plane |Z| using 7010 main sequence turnoff stars observed by the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) survey. The sample consists of mostly old thin and thick disk stars, with a minimal contribution from the stellar halo, in the region 6 < R < 16 kpc, 0.15 < |Z| < 1.5 kpc. We find that the radial metallicity gradient Δ[Fe/H]/Δ R becomes flat at heights |Z| > 1 kpc. In addition, we find that the high-α population, which dominates at large heights |Z| in the inner disk (R < 10 kpc), makes up a small fraction of stars in the outer disk (R > 10 kpc). The chemical and kinematic properties of high-α stars in the outer disk differ from those in the inner disk, consistent with the high-α population having a short scale length. Our observations are consistent with the predictions for a thick disk formed in situ at high redshift, and the lack of high-α stars at large R and |Z| provides a strong constraint on the strength of radial migration induced by transient spiral arms.
    08/2012; 219:105-.
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    ABSTRACT: (abridged) We describe the automated spectral classification, redshift determination, and parameter measurement pipeline in use for the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) as of Data Release 9, encompassing 831,000 moderate-resolution optical spectra. We give a review of the algorithms employed, and describe the changes to the pipeline that have been implemented for BOSS relative to previous SDSS-I/II versions, including new sets of stellar, galaxy, and quasar redshift templates. For the color-selected CMASS sample of massive galaxies at redshift 0.4 <~ z <~ 0.8 targeted by BOSS for the purposes of large-scale cosmological measurements, the pipeline achieves an automated classification success rate of 98.7% and confirms 95.4% of unique CMASS targets as galaxies (with the balance being mostly M stars). Based on visual inspections of a subset of BOSS galaxies, we find that ~0.2% of confidently reported CMASS sample classifications and redshifts are incorrect, and ~0.4% of all CMASS spectra are objects unclassified by the current algorithm which are potentially recoverable. The BOSS pipeline confirms that ~51.5% of the quasar targets have quasar spectra, with the balance mainly consisting of stars. Statistical (as opposed to systematic) redshift errors propagated from photon noise are typically a few tens of km/s for both galaxies and quasars, with a significant tail to a few hundreds of km/s for quasars. We test the accuracy of these statistical redshift error estimates using repeat observations, finding them underestimated by a factor of 1.19 to 1.34 for galaxies, and by a factor of 2 for quasars. We assess the impact of sky-subtraction quality, S/N, and other factors on galaxy redshift success. Finally, we document known issues, and describe directions of ongoing development.
    The Astronomical Journal 07/2012; 144(5). · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) is designed to measure the scale of baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) in the clustering of matter over a larger volume than the combined efforts of all previous spectroscopic surveys of large scale structure. BOSS uses 1.5 million luminous galaxies as faint as i=19.9 over 10,000 square degrees to measure BAO to redshifts z<0.7. Observations of neutral hydrogen in the Lyman alpha forest in more than 150,000 quasar spectra (g<22) will constrain BAO over the redshift range 2.15<z<3.5. Early results from BOSS include the first detection of the large-scale three-dimensional clustering of the Lyman alpha forest and a strong detection from the Data Release 9 data set of the BAO in the clustering of massive galaxies at an effective redshift z = 0.57. We project that BOSS will yield measurements of the angular diameter distance D_A to an accuracy of 1.0% at redshifts z=0.3 and z=0.57 and measurements of H(z) to 1.8% and 1.7% at the same redshifts. Forecasts for Lyman alpha forest constraints predict a measurement of an overall dilation factor that scales the highly degenerate D_A(z) and H^{-1}(z) parameters to an accuracy of 1.9% at z~2.5 when the survey is complete. Here, we provide an overview of the selection of spectroscopic targets, planning of observations, and analysis of data and data quality of BOSS.
    The Astronomical Journal 07/2012; 145(1). · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) presents the first spectroscopic data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). This ninth data release (DR9) of the SDSS project includes 535,995 new galaxy spectra (median z=0.52), 102,100 new quasar spectra (median z=2.32), and 90,897 new stellar spectra, along with the data presented in previous data releases. These spectra were obtained with the new BOSS spectrograph and were taken between 2009 December and 2011 July. In addition, the stellar parameters pipeline, which determines radial velocities, surface temperatures, surface gravities, and metallicities of stars, has been updated and refined with improvements in temperature estimates for stars with T_eff<5000 K and in metallicity estimates for stars with [Fe/H]>-0.5. DR9 includes new stellar parameters for all stars presented in DR8, including stars from SDSS-I and II, as well as those observed as part of the SDSS-III Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration-2 (SEGUE-2). The astrometry error introduced in the DR8 imaging catalogs has been corrected in the DR9 data products. The next data release for SDSS-III will be in Summer 2013, which will present the first data from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) along with another year of data from BOSS, followed by the final SDSS-III data release in December 2014.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 07/2012; 203(2). · 16.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the \alpha-element abundance ratio, [\alpha/Fe], of 5620 stars, observed by the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration survey in the region 6 kpc < R < 16 kpc, 0.15 kpc < |Z| < 1.5 kpc, as a function of Galactocentric radius R and distance from the Galactic plane |Z|. Our results show that the high-\alpha\ thick disk population has a short scale length (L_thick ~ 1.8 kpc) compared to the low-\alpha population, which is typically associated with the thin disk. We find that the fraction of high-\alpha\ stars in the inner disk increases at large |Z|, and that high-\alpha\ stars lag in rotation compared to low-\alpha\ stars. In contrast, the fraction of high-\alpha\ stars in the outer disk is low at all |Z|, and high- and low-\alpha\ stars have similar rotational velocities up to 1.5 kpc from the plane. We interpret these results to indicate that different processes were responsible for the high-\alpha\ populations in the inner and outer disk. The high-\alpha\ population in the inner disk has a short scale length and large scale height, consistent with a scenario in which the thick disk forms during an early gas-rich accretion phase. Stars far from the plane in the outer disk may have reached their current locations through heating by minor mergers. The lack of high-\alpha\ stars at large R and |Z| also places strict constraints on the strength of radial migration via transient spiral structure.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2012; 752(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We find that the relative contribution of satellite galaxies accreted at high redshift to the stellar population of the Milky Way's smooth halo increases with distance, becoming observable relative to the classical smooth halo about 15 kpc from the Galactic center. In particular, we determine line-of-sight-averaged [Fe/H] and [alpha/Fe] in the metal-poor main-sequence turnoff (MPMSTO) population along every Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) spectroscopic line of sight. Restricting our sample to those lines of sight along which we do not detect elements of cold halo substructure (ECHOS), we compile the largest spectroscopic sample of stars in the smooth component of the halo ever observed in situ beyond 10 kpc. We find significant spatial autocorrelation in [Fe/H] in the MPMSTO population in the distant half of our sample beyond about 15 kpc from the Galactic center. Inside of 15 kpc however, we find no significant spatial autocorrelation in [Fe/H]. At the same time, we perform SEGUE-like observations of N-body simulations of Milky Way analog formation. While we find that halos formed entirely by accreted satellite galaxies provide a poor match to our observations of the halo within 15 kpc of the Galactic center, we do observe spatial autocorrelation in [Fe/H] in the simulations at larger distances. This observation is an example of statistical chemical tagging and indicates that spatial autocorrelation in metallicity is a generic feature of stellar halos formed from accreted satellite galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2012; 749(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The observed radial and vertical metallicity distribution of old stars in the Milky Way disk provides a powerful constraint on the chemical enrichment and dynamical history of the disk system. We present the radial metallicity gradient, Δ[Fe/H]/ΔR, as a function of height above the plane, |Z|, using 7010 main-sequence turnoff stars observed by the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration survey. The sample consists of mostly old thin and thick disk stars, with a minimal contribution from the stellar halo, in the region 6 kpc < R < 16 kpc, 0.15 kpc < |Z| < 1.5 kpc. The data reveal that the radial metallicity gradient becomes flat at heights |Z| > 1 kpc. The median metallicity at large |Z| is consistent with the metallicities seen in outer disk open clusters, which exhibit a flat radial gradient at [Fe/H] ~–0.5. We note that the outer disk clusters are also located at large |Z|; because the flat gradient extends to small R for our sample, there is some ambiguity in whether the observed trends for clusters are due to a change in R or |Z|. We therefore stress the importance of considering both the radial and vertical directions when measuring spatial abundance trends in the disk. The flattening of the gradient at high |Z| also has implications on thick disk formation scenarios, which predict different metallicity patterns in the thick disk. A flat gradient, such as we observe, is predicted by a turbulent disk at high redshift, but may also be consistent with radial migration, as long as mixing is strong. We test our analysis methods using a mock catalog based on the model of Schönrich & Binney, and we estimate our distance errors to be ~25%. We also show that we can properly correct for selection biases by assigning weights to our targets.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2012; 746(2):149. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new determination of the metallicity distribution function in the Milky Way halo, based on an in situ sample of more than 5000 K giants from SDSS/SEGUE. We have also measured the metallicity gradient in the halo, using our sample which stretches from 5 kpc to more than 100 kpc from the galactic center. The halo metallicity gradient has been a controversial topic in recent studies, but our in-situ study overcomes the problems caused in these studies by their extrapolations from local samples to the distant halo. We also describe our extensive checks of the log g and [Fe/H] measurements from the SEGUE Stellar Parameters pipeline, using globular and open cluster stars and SEGUE stars with follow-up high-resolution analysis. In addition, we present a new Bayesian estimate of distances to the K giants, which avoids the distance bias introduced by the red giant branch luminosity function.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the metallicity distribution function (MDF) for 24,270 G and 16,847 K dwarfs at distances from 0.2 to 2.3 kpc from the Galactic plane, based on spectroscopy from the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) survey. This stellar sample is significantly larger in both number and volume than previous spectroscopic analyses, which were limited to the solar vicinity, making it ideal for comparison with local volume-limited samples and Galactic models. For the first time, we have corrected the MDF for the various observational biases introduced by the SEGUE target selection strategy. The SEGUE sample is particularly notable for K dwarfs, which are too faint to examine spectroscopically far from the solar neighborhood. The MDF of both spectral types becomes more metal-poor with increasing |Z|, which reflects the transition from a sample with small [alpha/Fe] values at small heights to one with enhanced [alpha/Fe] above 1 kpc. Comparison of our SEGUE distributions to those of two different Milky Way models reveals that both are more metal-rich than our observed distributions at all heights above the plane. Our unbiased observations of G and K dwarfs provide valuable constraints over the |Z|-height range of the Milky Way disk for chemical and dynamical Galaxy evolution models, previously only calibrated to the solar neighborhood, with particular utility for thin- and thick-disk formation models.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2011; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate in detail the probability distribution function (pdf) of the proper-motion measurement errors in the SDSS+USNO-B proper-motion catalog of Munn et al. using clean quasar samples. The pdf of the errors is well represented by a Gaussian core with extended wings, plus a very small fraction (<0.1%) of "outliers." We find that while formally the pdf could be well fit by a five-parameter fitting function, for many purposes it is also adequate to represent the pdf with a one-parameter approximation to this function. We apply this pdf to the calculation of the confidence intervals on the true proper motion for an SDSS+USNO-B proper-motion measurement, and discuss several scientific applications of the SDSS proper-motion catalog. Our results have various applications in studies of the galactic structure and stellar kinematics. Specifically, they are crucial for searching hyper-velocity stars in the Galaxy.
    The Astronomical Journal 09/2011; 142(4):116. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present and analyze the positions, distances, and radial velocities for over 4000 blue horizontal-branch (BHB) stars in the Milky Way's halo, drawn from SDSS DR8. We search for position-velocity substructure in these data, a signature of the hierarchical assembly of the stellar halo. Using a cumulative "close pair distribution" as a statistic in the four-dimensional space of sky position, distance, and velocity, we quantify the presence of position-velocity substructure at high statistical significance among the BHB stars: pairs of BHB stars that are close in position on the sky tend to have more similar distances and radial velocities compared to a random sampling of these overall distributions. We make analogous mock observations of 11 numerical halo formation simulations, in which the stellar halo is entirely composed of disrupted satellite debris, and find a level of substructure comparable to that seen in the actually observed BHB star sample. This result quantitatively confirms the hierarchical build-up of the stellar halo through a signature in phase (position-velocity) space. In detail, the structure present in the BHB stars is somewhat less prominent than that seen in most simulated halos, quite possibly because BHB stars represent an older sub-population. BHB stars located beyond 20 kpc from the Galactic center exhibit stronger substructure than at r gc < 20 kpc.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2011; 738(1):79. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Building on the legacy of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-I and II), SDSS-III is a program of four spectroscopic surveys on three scientific themes: dark energy and cosmological parameters, the history and structure of the Milky Way, and the population of giant planets around other stars. In keeping with SDSS tradition, SDSS-III will provide regular public releases of all its data, beginning with SDSS Data Release 8 (DR8), which was made public in 2011 January and includes SDSS-I and SDSS-II images and spectra reprocessed with the latest pipelines and calibrations produced for the SDSS-III investigations. This paper presents an overview of the four surveys that comprise SDSS-III. The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey will measure redshifts of 1.5 million massive galaxies and Lyα forest spectra of 150,000 quasars, using the baryon acoustic oscillation feature of large-scale structure to obtain percent-level determinations of the distance scale and Hubble expansion rate at z < 0.7 and at z 2.5. SEGUE-2, an already completed SDSS-III survey that is the continuation of the SDSS-II Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE), measured medium-resolution (R = λ/Δλ 1800) optical spectra of 118,000 stars in a variety of target categories, probing chemical evolution, stellar kinematics and substructure, and the mass profile of the dark matter halo from the solar neighborhood to distances of 100 kpc. APOGEE, the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, will obtain high-resolution (R 30,000), high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ≥ 100 per resolution element), H-band (1.51 μm < λ < 1.70 μm) spectra of 105 evolved, late-type stars, measuring separate abundances for ~15 elements per star and creating the first high-precision spectroscopic survey of all Galactic stellar populations (bulge, bar, disks, halo) with a uniform set of stellar tracers and spectral diagnostics. The Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS) will monitor radial velocities of more than 8000 FGK stars with the sensitivity and cadence (10-40 m s–1, ~24 visits per star) needed to detect giant planets with periods up to two years, providing an unprecedented data set for understanding the formation and dynamical evolution of giant planet systems. As of 2011 January, SDSS-III has obtained spectra of more than 240,000 galaxies, 29,000 z ≥ 2.2 quasars, and 140,000 stars, including 74,000 velocity measurements of 2580 stars for MARVELS.
    The Astronomical Journal 08/2011; 142(3):72. · 4.97 Impact Factor
  • apjs. 08/2011; 195:26.

Publication Stats

6k Citations
635.91 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2014
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • Physics Division
      Berkeley, California, United States
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
      • Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
      Troy, New York, United States
  • 2012
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
    • University of Portsmouth
      • Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation ICG
      Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • Michigan State University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      East Lansing, Michigan, United States
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2004–2008
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Astronomy
      Seattle, WA, United States
  • 2000–2008
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 2007
    • Australian National University
      • Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    • The University of Tokyo
      • Institute for Cosmic Ray Research
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
    • Texas Tech University
      • Department of Physics
      Lubbock, Texas, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Connecticut
      • Department of Physics
      Storrs, CT, United States
  • 1998–2003
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Astrophysical Sciences
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States
  • 2002
    • Carnegie Mellon University
      • Department of Physics
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2001
    • University of Sussex
      • Astronomy Centre
      Brighton, England, United Kingdom