K. C. Freeman

Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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Publications (561)1716.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We report the identification of extended tidal debris potentially associated with the globular cluster NGC 3201, using the RAVE catalogue. We find the debris stars are located at a distance range of 1-7 kpc based on the forthcoming RAVE distance estimates. The derived space velocities and integrals of motion show interesting connections to NGC 3201, modulo uncertainties in the proper motions. Three stars, which are among the 4 most likely candidates for NGC 3201 tidal debris, are separated by 80 degrees on the sky yet are well matched by the 12 Gyr, [Fe/H] = -1.5 isochrone appropriate for the cluster. This is the first time tidal debris around this cluster has been reported over such a large spatial extent, with implications for the cluster$'$s origin and dynamical evolution.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    M. Ness · K. Freeman
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    ABSTRACT: The Galactic bulge of the Milky Way is made up of stars with a broad range of metallicity, -3.0 < [Fe/H] < 1 dex. The mean of the Metallicity Distribution Function (MDF) decreases as a function of height z from the plane and, more weakly, with galactic radius. The most metal rich stars in the inner Galaxy are concentrated to the plane and the more metal poor stars are found predominantly further from the plane, with an overall vertical gradient in the mean of the MDF of about -0.45 dex/kpc. This vertical gradient is believed to reflect the changing contribution with height of different populations in the inner-most region of the Galaxy. The more metal rich stars of the bulge are part of the boxy/peanut structure and comprise stars in orbits which trace out the underlying X-shape. There is still a lack of consensus on the origin of the metal poor stars ([Fe/H] < -0.5) in the region of the bulge. Some studies attribute the more metal poor stars of the bulge to the thick disk and stellar halo that are present in the inner region, and other studies propose that the metal poor stars are a distinct "old spheroid" bulge population. Understanding the origin of the populations that make up the MDF of the bulge, and identifying if there is a unique bulge population which has formed separately from the disk and halo, has important consequences for identifying the relevant processes in the the formation and evolution of the Milky Way.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015
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    S. Aniyan · K. C. Freeman · O. E. Gerhard · M. Arnaboldi · C. Flynn
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    ABSTRACT: In decomposing the HI rotation curves of disc galaxies, it is necessary to break a degeneracy between the gravitational fields of the disc and the dark halo by estimating the disc surface density. This is done by combining measurements of the vertical velocity dispersion of the disc with the disc scale height. The vertical velocity dispersion of the discs is measured from absorption lines (near the V-band) of near-face-on spiral galaxies, with the light coming from a mixed population of giants of all ages. However, the scale heights for these galaxies are estimated statistically from near-IR surface photometry of edge-on galaxies. The scale height estimate is therefore dominated by a population of older (> 2 Gyr) red giants. In this paper, we demonstrate the importance of measuring the velocity dispersion for the same older population of stars that is used to estimate the vertical scale height. We present an analysis of the vertical kinematics of K-giants in the solar vicinity. We find the vertical velocity distribution best fit by two components with dispersions of 9.6 +/- 0.5 km/s and 18.6 +/- 1.0 km/s, which we interpret as the dispersions of the young and old disc populations respectively. Combining the (single) measured velocity dispersion of the total young + old disc population (13.0 +/- 0.1 km/s) with the scale height estimated for the older population would underestimate the disc surface density by a factor of ~ 2. Such a disc would have a peak rotational velocity that is only 70% of that for the maximal disc, thus making it appear submaximal.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: The High Efficiency and Resolution Multi Element Spectrograph, HERMES, is a facility-class optical spectrograph for the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT). It is designed primarily for Galactic Archaeology, the first major attempt to create a detailed understanding of galaxy formation and evolution by studying the history of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The goal of the GALAH survey is to reconstruct the mass assembly history of the Milky Way through a detailed chemical abundance study of one million stars. The spectrograph is based at the AAT and is fed by the existing 2dF robotic fiber positioning system. The spectrograph uses volume phase holographic gratings to achieve a spectral resolving power of 28,000 in standard mode and also provides a high-resolution mode ranging between 40,000 and 50,000 using a slit mask. The GALAH survey requires an SNR greater than 100 for a star brightness of V=14 in an exposure time of one hour. The total spectral coverage of the four channels is about 100 nm between 370 and 1000 nm for up to 392 simultaneous targets within the 2-degree field of view. HERMES has been commissioned over three runs, during bright time in October, November, and December 2013, in parallel with the beginning of the GALAH pilot survey, which started in November 2013. We present the first-light results from the commissioning run and the beginning of the GALAH survey, including performance results such as throughput and resolution, as well as instrument reliability.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We study the stellar content of three galactic bulges with the high resolution gratings (R=7000) of the WiFeS integral field unit in order to better understand their formation and evolution. In all cases we find that at least 50% of the stellar mass already existed 12 Gyrs ago, more than currently predicted by simulations. A younger component (age between ∼1 to ∼8 Gyrs) is also prominent and its present day distribution seems to be much more affected by morphological structures, especially bars, than the older one. This in-depth analysis supports the notion of increasing complexity in bulges which cannot be achieved by mergers alone, but requires a non-negligible contribution from secular evolution.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    J. Bland-Hawthorn · S. Sharma · K. Freeman
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    ABSTRACT: The GALAH survey targets one million stars in the southern hemisphere down to a limiting magnitude of V = 14 at the Anglo- Australian Telescope. The project aims to measure up to 30 elemental abundances and radial velocities (~1 km/s accuracy) for each star at a resolution of R = 28000. These elements fall into 8 independent groups (e.g. alpha, Fe peak, r-process). For all stars, Gaia will provide distances to 1% and transverse velocities to 1 km/s or better, giving us a 14D set of parameters for each star, i.e. 6D phase space and 8D abundance space. There are many scientic applications but here we focus on the prospect of chemically tagging the thick disk and making a direct measurement of how stellar migration evolves with cosmic time.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · EAS Publications Series
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    ABSTRACT: The Galactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH) survey is a large high-resolution spectroscopic survey using the newly commissioned High Efficiency and Resolution Multi-Element Spectrograph (HERMES) 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 deg 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, α-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.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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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 [α/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 candidate, an extremely HiVel bound halo star, and one star that is kinematically consistent with the halo but chemically consistent with the disc. 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 disc. This discovery could aid in explaining the assembly of the most metal-rich component of the Galactic halo.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: The details of bulge formation via collapse, mergers, secular processes or their interplay remain unresolved. To start answering this question and quantify the importance of distinct mechanisms, we mapped a sample of three galactic bulges using data from the integral field spectrograph WiFeS on the ANU 2.3m telescope in Siding Spring Observatory. Its high resolution gratings (R=7000) allow us to present a detailed kinematic and stellar population analysis of their inner structures with classical and novel techniques. The comparison of those techniques calls for the necessity of inversion algorithms in order to understand complex substructures and separate populations. We use line-strength indices to derive SSP-equivalent ages and metallicities. Additionally, we use full spectral fitting methods, here the code STECKMAP, to extract their star formation histories. The high quality of our data allows us to study the 2D distribution of different stellar populations (i.e. young, intermediate, and old). We can identify their dominant populations based on these age-discriminated 2D light and mass contribution. In all galactic bulges studied, at least 50% of the stellar mass already existed 10 Gyrs ago, more than currently predicted by simulations. A younger component (age between 1 to 8 Gyrs) is also prominent and its present day distribution seems to be affected much more strongly by morphological structures, especially bars, than the older one. This in-depth analysis of the three bulges supports the notion of increasing complexity in their evolution, likely to be found in numerous bulge structures if studied at this level of detail, which cannot be achieved by mergers alone and require a non-negligible contribution of secular evolution.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · The Astronomical Journal
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: Aims. We provide new constraints on the chemo-dynamical models of the Milky Way by measuring the radial and vertical chemical gradients for the elements Mg. Al, Si. Ti. and Fe in the Galactic disc and the gradient variations as a function of the distance from the Galactic plane (Z). Methods. We selected a sample of giant stars from the RAVE database using the gravity criterium 1.7 < log g < 2.8. We created a RAVE mock sample with the Galaxia code based on the Besancon model and selected a corresponding mock sample to compare the model with the observed data We measured the radial gradients and the vertical gradients as a function of the distance from the Galactic plane Z to study their variation across the Galactic disc. Results. The RAVE sample exhibits a negative radial gradient of d[Fe/HJ/dR = 0,054 dex kpc(-1) close to the Galactic plane <0.4 kpc) that becomes Hatter for larger 14 Other elements follow the same trend although with some variations from element to element. The mock sample has radial gradients in fair agreement with the observed data. The variation of the gradients with Z shows that the Fe radial gradient of the RAVE sample has little change in the range vertical bar Z vertical bar <= 0.6 kpc and then flattens. The iron vertical gradient of the RAVE sample is slightly negative close to the Galactic plane and steepens with vertical bar Z vertical bar. The mock sample exhibits an iron vertical gradient that is always steeper than the RAVE sample, The mock sample also shows an excess of metal poor stars in the [Fe/H] distributions with respect to the observed data These discrepancies can be reduced by decreasing the number of thick disc stars and increasing their average metallicity in the Besancon model.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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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.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The High Efficiency and Resolution Multi Element Spectrograph, HERMES is an facility-class optical spectrograph for the AAT. It is designed primarily for Galactic Archeology [21], the first major attempt to create a detailed understanding of galaxy formation and evolution by studying the history of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The goal of the GALAH survey is to reconstruct the mass assembly history of the of the Milky Way, through a detailed spatially tagged abundance study of one million stars. The spectrograph is based at the Anglo Australian Telescope (AAT) and is fed by the existing 2dF robotic fiber positioning system. The spectrograph uses VPH-gratings to achieve a spectral resolving power of 28,000 in standard mode and also provides a high-resolution mode ranging between 40,000 to 50,000 using a slit mask. The GALAH survey requires a SNR greater than 100 for a star brightness of V=14. The total spectral coverage of the four channels is about 100nm between 370 and 1000nm for up to 392 simultaneous targets within the 2 degree field of view. Hermes has been commissioned over 3 runs, during bright time in October, November and December 2013, in parallel with the beginning of the GALAH Pilot survey starting in November 2013. In this paper we present the first-light results from the commissioning run and the beginning of the GALAH Survey, including performance results such as throughput and resolution, as well as instrument reliability. We compare the abundance calculations from the pilot survey to those in the literature.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Jul 2014
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We use the kinematics of ∼200 000 giant stars that lie within ∼1.5 kpc of the plane to measure the vertical profile of mass density near the Sun. We find that the dark mass contained within the isodensity surface of the dark halo that passes through the Sun ((6 ± 0.9) × 1010 M⊙), and the surface density within 0.9 kpc of the plane ((69 ± 10) M⊙ pc−2) are almost independent of the (oblate) halo's axis ratio q. If the halo is spherical, 46 per cent of the radial force on the Sun is provided by baryons, and only 4.3 per cent of the Galaxy's mass is baryonic. If the halo is flattened, the baryons contribute even less strongly to the local radial force and to the Galaxy's mass. The dark matter density at the location of the Sun is 0.0126 q−0.89 M⊙ pc−3 = 0.48 q−0.89 GeV cm−3. When combined with other literature results we find hints for a mildly oblate dark halo with q ≃ 0.8. Our value for the dark mass within the solar radius is larger than that predicted by cosmological dark-matter-only simulations but in good agreement with simulations once the effects of baryonic infall are taken into account. Our mass models consist of three double-exponential discs, an oblate bulge and a Navarro–Frenk–White dark matter halo, and we model the dynamics of the RAVE (RAdial Velocity Experiment) stars in the corresponding gravitational fields by finding distribution functions f J that depend on three action integrals. Statistical errors are completely swamped by systematic uncertainties, the most important of which are the distance to the stars in the photometric and spectroscopic samples and the solar distance to the Galactic Centre. Systematics other than the flattening of the dark halo yield overall uncertainties ∼15 per cent.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal

Publication Stats

15k Citations
1,716.53 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1989-2015
    • Australian National University
      • • Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics
      • • Mount Stromlo Observatory
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 2002-2013
    • ANU College
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    • The Astronomical Observatory of Brera
      Merate, Lombardy, Italy
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      • Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy
      Boulder, CO, United States
  • 2012
    • Australian Astronomical Observatory
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2008-2012
    • University of Canberra
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    • William Penn University
      University Park, Florida, United States
  • 2011
    • University of Sydney
      • School of Physics
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2009
    • Ghent University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 1999-2009
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    • The University of Sheffield
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
    • Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
    • University of Berkley
      Berkley, Michigan, United States
  • 1996-2009
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Astronomy
      • • Department of Physics
      Seattle, WA, United States
    • University of California, Santa Barbara
      • Department of Physics
      Santa Barbara, California, United States
  • 2007
    • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 2003-2007
    • University of Nottingham
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Nottigham, England, United Kingdom
    • Universität Basel
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
    • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      • Department Physics and Astronomy
      New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Santiago, Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile
    • University of California, San Diego
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2003-2006
    • Royal Society for Asian Affairs
      Weston Turville, England, United Kingdom
  • 2005
    • 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 Melbourne
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1987-2003
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Cambridge
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 1996-2000
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
      • Physical & Life Sciences Directorate
      Livermore, California, United States
  • 1998
    • Astronomical Society of Australia
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 1997
    • The Ohio State University
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 1995
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Physics
      Davis, CA, United States
  • 1994
    • University of Oxford
      • Faculty of Philosophy
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1984-1987
    • University of Groningen
      • Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
      Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands