Volume 643, November 2020
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||06 November 2020|
The chemodynamics of prograde and retrograde Milky Way stars
Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France
Accepted: 11 September 2020
Context. The accretion history of the Milky Way is still unknown, despite the recent discovery of stellar systems that stand out in terms of their energy-angular momentum space, such as Gaia-Enceladus-Sausage. In particular, it is still unclear how these groups are linked and to what extent they are well-mixed.
Aims. We investigate the similarities and differences in the properties between the prograde and retrograde (counter-rotating) stars and set those results in context by using the properties of Gaia-Enceladus-Sausage, Thamnos/Sequoia, and other suggested accreted populations.
Methods. We used the stellar metallicities of the major large spectroscopic surveys (APOGEE, Gaia-ESO, GALAH, LAMOST, RAVE, SEGUE) in combination with astrometric and photometric data from Gaia’s second data-release. We investigated the presence of radial and vertical metallicity gradients as well as the possible correlations between the azimuthal velocity, vϕ, and metallicity, [M/H], as qualitative indicators of the presence of mixed populations.
Results. We find that a handful of super metal-rich stars exist on retrograde orbits at various distances from the Galactic center and the Galactic plane. We also find that the counter-rotating stars appear to be a well-mixed population, exhibiting radial and vertical metallicity gradients on the order of ∼ − 0.04 dex kpc−1 and −0.06 dex kpc−1, respectively, with little (if any) variation when different regions of the Galaxy are probed. The prograde stars show a vϕ − [M/H] relation that flattens – and, perhaps, even reverses as a function of distance from the plane. Retrograde samples selected to roughly probe Thamnos and Gaia-Enceladus-Sausage appear to be different populations yet they also appear to be quite linked, as they follow the same trend in terms of the eccentricity versus metallicity space.
Key words: Galaxy: abundances / Galaxy: formation / Galaxy: disk / Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics / Galaxy: stellar content / stars: abundances
© G. Kordopatis et al. 2020
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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