Stellar substructures in the solar neighbourhood ⋆
IV. Kinematic Group 1 in the Geneva-Copenhagen survey
1 Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius University, A. Gostauto 12, 01108 Vilnius, Lithuania
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2 Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Received: 30 September 2014
Accepted: 12 January 2015
Context. A combined study of kinematics and chemical composition of stars is one of the most promising tools of research in Galaxy formation. The main goal in this field of research is to reconstruct the formation history of our Galaxy, to reveal the origin of the thick disc, and to find remnants of ancient mergers.
Aims. We determine detailed elemental abundances in stars belonging to the so-called Group 1 of the Geneva-Copenhagen survey (GCS) and compare the chemical composition with the Galactic thin- and thick-disc stars, with the GCS Group 2 and Group 3 stars, as well as with several kinematic streams of similar metallicities. The aim is to search for chemical signatures that might give information about the formation history of this kinematic group of stars.
Methods. High-resolution spectra were obtained with the Fibre-fed Echelle Spectrograph spectrograph at the Nordic Optical Telescope, La Palma, and were analysed with a differential model atmosphere method. Comparison stars were observed and analysed with the same method.
Results. The average value of [Fe/H] for the 37 stars of Group 1 is −0.20 ± 0.14 dex. Investigated Group 1 stars can be separated into three age subgroups. Along with the main 8- and 12-Gyr-old populations, a subgroup of stars younger than 5 Gyr can be separated as well. Abundances of oxygen, α-elements, and r-process dominated elements are higher than in Galactic thin-disc dwarfs. This elemental abundance pattern has similar characteristics to that of the Galactic thick disc and differs slightly from those in Hercules, Arcturus, and AF06 stellar streams.
Conclusions. The similar chemical composition of stars in Group 1, as well as in Group 2 and 3, with that in stars of the thick disc might suggest that their formation histories are linked. The chemical composition pattern together with the kinematic properties and ages of stars in the investigated GCS groups provide evidence of their common origin and possible relation to an ancient merging event. A gas-rich satellite merger scenario is proposed as the most likely origin.
Key words: stars: abundances / Galaxy: disk / Galaxy: formation / Galaxy: evolution
Tables 4 and 5 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015