Volume 525, January 2011
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||03 December 2010|
GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot,
5 place Jules Janssen,
2 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux, CNRS - Université Bordeaux 1, 2 rue de l’Observatoire, BP 89, 33271 Floirac Cedex, France
3 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, 61 avenue de l’Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
4 Universidade de São Paulo, IAG, Rua do Matão 1226, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil
5 Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215, USA
6 Observatoire de Strasbourg 11, rue de l’Université, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Received: 21 April 2010
Accepted: 13 September 2010
Aims. This work investigates the properties (metallicity and kinematics) and interfaces of the Galactic thick disc as a function of height above the Galactic plane. The main aim is to study the thick disc in a place where it is the main component of the sample.
Methods. We take advantage of former astrometric work in two fields of several square degrees in which accurate proper motions were measured down to V-magnitudes of 18.5 in two directions, one near the north galactic pole and the other at a galactic latitude of 46° and galactic longitude near 0°. Spectroscopic observations have been acquired in these two fields for a total of about 400 stars down to magnitude 18.0, at spectral resolutions of 3.5 to 6.25 Å. The spectra have been analysed with the code ETOILE, comparing the target stellar spectra with a grid of 1400 reference stellar spectra. This comparison allowed us to derive the parameters effective temperature, gravity, [Fe/H] and absolute magnitude for each target star.
Results. The Metallicity Distribution Function (MDF) of the thin-thick-disc-halo system is derived for several height intervals between 0 and 5 kpc above the Galactic plane. The MDFs show a decrease of the ratio of the thin to thick disc stars between the first and second kilo-parsec. This is consistent with the classical modelling of the vertical density profile of the disc with 2 populations with different scale heights. A vertical metallicity gradient, ∂ [Fe/H] /∂z = −0.068 ± 0.009 dex kpc-1, is observed in the thick disc. It is discussed in terms of scenarios of formation of the thick disc.
Key words: Galaxy: disk / stars: abundances / Galaxy: abundances
Based on observations obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii and at the T193cm telescope, Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France.
Full Tables A.1–A.3, B.1–B.3 are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/525/A90
© ESO, 2010
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