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The Galactic Disk-Halo Transition – Evidence from Stellar Abundances

  • Poul Erik Nissen (a1) and William J. Schuster (a2)

Abstract

New information on the relations between the Galactic disks, the halo, and satellite galaxies is being obtained from elemental abundances of stars having metallicities in the range −1.5 < [Fe/H] < −0.5. The first results for a sample of 26 halo stars and 13 thick-disk stars observed with the ESO VLT/UVES spectrograph are presented. The halo stars fall in two distinct groups: one group (9 stars) has [α/Fe] = 0.30 ± 0.03 like the thick-disk stars. The other group (17 stars) shows a clearly deviating trend ranging from [α/Fe] = 0.20 at [Fe/H] = −1.3 to [α/Fe] = 0.08 at [Fe/H] = −0.8. The kinematics of the stars are discussed and the abundance ratios Na/Fe, Ni/Fe, Cu/Fe and Ba/Y are applied to see if the “low-alpha” stars are connected to the thin disk or to Milky Way satellite galaxies. Furthermore, we compare our data with simulations of chemical abundance distributions in hierarchically formed stellar halos in a ΛCDM Universe.

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References

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The Galactic Disk-Halo Transition – Evidence from Stellar Abundances

  • Poul Erik Nissen (a1) and William J. Schuster (a2)

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