A&A 400, 877-890 (2003)
3D kinematics of white dwarfs from the SPY project E.-M. Pauli1, R. Napiwotzki1, M. Altmann1, U. Heber1, M. Odenkirchen2 and F. Kerber3
Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, Astronom. Institut, Universität
Erlangen-Nürnberg, Sternwartstr. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg,
Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching,
(Received 23 October 2002 / Accepted 16 December 2002 )
We present kinematics of a sample of 107 DA
white dwarfs from the SPY project (ESO SN Ia Progenitor surveY)
and discuss kinematic criteria for a distinction of thin disk,
thick disk, and halo populations.
This is the first homogeneous sample of white dwarfs for which 3D
space motions have been determined.
Since the percentage of old stars among white dwarfs is higher than
among main-sequence stars, they are presumably valuable tools
in studies of old populations such as the halo and the thick disk.
Studies of white dwarf kinematics can help to determine the fraction
of the total mass of our Galaxy contained in
the form of thick disk and halo white dwarfs, an issue which
is still under discussion.
Radial velocities and spectroscopic distances obtained by the
SPY project are combined with our measurements of proper motions
to derive 3D space motions.
Galactic orbits and further kinematic parameters are computed.
We calculate individual errors of kinematic parameters by means of a
Monte Carlo error propagation code.
Our kinematic criteria for assigning population membership are
deduced from a sample of F and G stars taken from the literature
for which chemical criteria can be used to distinguish
between thin disk, thick disk and halo.
Candidates for thick disk and halo members are selected
in a first step from the classical
Our final assignment of population membership is based on orbits
and position in the
We find four halo and twelve thick disk white dwarfs.
We also present a systematic study of the effects of ignoring
the radial velocity in kinematic investigations.
stars: white dwarfs --
stars: kinematics and dynamics --
Galaxy: halo --
Galaxy: disk --
Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics
Offprint request: E.-M. Pauli, firstname.lastname@example.org
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