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Title: Elemental abundance survey of the galactic thick disc
Authors: Reddy, B. E
Lambert, D. L
Prieto, Carlos Allende
Keywords: Stars: atmospheric parameters;Stars: abundances;Stars: thick and thin disc;Stars: kinematics;Galaxy: evolution;Galaxy: abundances
Issue Date: Apr-2006
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Citation: Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 367, No. 4, pp. 1329-1366
Abstract: We have performed an abundance analysis for F- and G- dwarfs of the Galactic thick-disc component. A sample of 176 nearby (d≤ 150 pc) thick-disc candidate stars was chosen from the Hipparcos catalogue and subjected to a high-resolution spectroscopic analysis. Using accurate radial velocities combined with the Hipparcos astrometry, kinematics (U, V and W) and Galactic orbital parameters were computed. We estimate the probability for a star to belong to the thin disc, the thick disc or the halo. With a probability P≥ 70 per cent taken as certain membership, we assigned 95 stars to the thick disc, 13 to the thin disc, and 20 to the halo. The remaining 48 stars in the sample cannot be assigned with reasonable certainty to one of the three components. Abundances of C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Y, Ba, Ce, Nd and Eu have been obtained. The abundances for the thick-disc stars are compared with those for the thin-disc members from Reddy et al. The ratios of α-elements (O, Mg, Si, Ca and Ti) to iron for thick-disc stars show a clear enhancement compared to thin-disc members in the range −0.3 < [Fe/H] <−1.2. There are also other elements – Al, Sc, V, Co, and possibly Zn – which show enhanced ratios to iron in the thick disc relative to the thin disc. The abundances of Na, Cr, Mn, Ni and Cu (relative to Fe) are very similar for thin- and thick-disc stars. The dispersion in abundance ratios [X/Fe] at given [Fe/H] for thick-disc stars is consistent with the expected scatter due to measurement errors, suggesting a lack of 'cosmic' scatter. A few stars classified as members of the thick disc by our kinematic criteria show thin-disc abundances. These stars, which appear older than most thin-disc stars, are also, on average, younger than the thick-disc population. They may have originated early in the thin-disc history, and been subsequently scattered to hotter orbits by collisions. The thick disc may not include stars with [Fe/H] >−0.3. The observed compositions of the thin and thick discs seem to be consistent with the models of galaxy formation by hierarchical clustering in a Lambda cold dark matter (ΛCDM) universe.
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