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A&A
Volume 475, Number 2, November IV 2007
Page(s) 519 - 537
Section Galactic structure, stellar clusters, and populations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20077221


A&A 475, 519-537 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077221

The Geneva-Copenhagen survey of the Solar neighbourhood II

New uvby calibrations and rediscussion of stellar ages, the G dwarf problem, age-metallicity diagram, and heating mechanisms of the disk
J. Holmberg1, 2, 3, 4, B. Nordström3, and J. Andersen3, 4

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2  Tuorla Observatory, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
3  The Niels Bohr Institute, Astronomy Group, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
    e-mail: [johan,birgitta,ja]@astro.ku.dk
4  Nordic Optical Telescope Scientific Association, Apartado 474, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain

(Received 2 February 2007 / Accepted 20 June 2007)

Abstract
Context.Ages, metallicities, space velocities, and Galactic orbits of stars in the Solar neighbourhood are fundamental observational constraints on models of galactic disk evolution. Understanding and minimising systematic errors and sample selection biases in the data is crucial for their interpretation.
Aims.We aim to consolidate the calibrations of $uvby\beta$ photometry into $T_{\rm eff}$, [Fe/H], distance, and age for F and G stars and rediscuss the results of the Geneva-Copenhagen Survey (Nordström et al. 2004; GCS) in terms of the evolution of the disk.
Methods.We use recent V-K photometry, angular diameters, high-resolution spectroscopy, Hipparcos parallaxes, and extensive numerical simulations to re-examine and verify the temperature, metallicity, distance, and reddening calibrations for the $uvby\beta$ system. We also highlight the selection effects inherent in the apparent-magnitude limited GCS sample.
Results.We substantially improve the $T_{\rm eff}$ and [Fe/H] calibrations for early F stars, where spectroscopic temperatures have large systematic errors. A slight offset of the GCS photometry and the non-standard helium abundance of the Hyades invalidate its use for checking metallicity or age scales; however, the distances, reddenings, metallicities, and age scale for GCS field stars require minor corrections only. Our recomputed ages are in excellent agreement with the independent determinations by Takeda et al. (2007), indicating that isochrone ages can now be reliably determined.
Conclusions.The revised G-dwarf metallicity distribution remains incompatible with closed-box models, and the age-metallicity relation for the thin disk remains almost flat, with large and real scatter at all ages ( $\sigma_{\rm intrinsic}$ = 0.20 dex). Dynamical heating of the thin disk continues throughout its life; specific in-plane dynamical effects dominate the evolution of the U and V velocities, while the W velocities remain random at all ages. When assigning thick and thin-disk membership for stars from kinematic criteria, parameters for the oldest stars should be used to characterise the thin disk.


Key words: Galaxy: stellar content -- Galaxy: solar neighbourhood -- Galaxy: disk -- Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics -- Galaxy: evolution -- stars: fundamental parameters



© ESO 2007