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Relying on the complementarity of Gaia proper motions with radial velocities of the RAVE survey, we attempt to constrain the kinematics of the Milky Way disc. Based on the population synthesis model, we simulate the observations, applying the detailed selection functions of the observations. The dynamics is described using a global gravitational potential computed from the mass distribution of the population model, approximated by a Stäckel potential (Bienaymé et al. 2015). We explore a set of free parameters (solar motion, age - velocity dispersion of the disc as a function of age, the velocity gradients, vertex deviation) using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method. We show that the fitted model reproduces very well the radial velocity and proper motion distributions, allowing to constrain the thin and thick disc secular evolution with time.
We describe the DR14 APOGEE-TGAS catalogue, a new SDSS value-added catalogue that provides precise astrophysical parameters, chemical abundances, astro-spectro- photometric distances and extinctions, as well as orbital parameters for ~30, 000 APOGEE-TGAS stars, among them ~5, 000 high-quality giant stars within 1 kpc.
We present our latest 3D model atmospheres for carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars computed with the CO5BOLD code. The stellar parameters are representative of hot turn-off objects (Teff ~ 6250 K, log g = 4.0, [Fe/H]=−3). The main purpose of these models is to investigate the role of 3D effects on synthetic spectra of the CH G-band (4140-4400 Å), the CN BX-band (3870-3890 Å), and several UV OH transitions (3122-3128 Å). By comparison with the synthetic spectra from standard 1D model atmospheres (assuming local thermodynamic equilibrium, LTE), we derive 3D abundance corrections for carbon and oxygen of up to −0.5 and −0.7 dex, respectively.
RR Lyrae variables are old (>10 Gyr) stars and, as such, they are useful probes of the earliest events of star formation in galaxies (Bernard et al. 2008, Martínez-Vázquez et al. 2016) as well as of the galaxy assembly process predicted by ΛCDM simulations of structure formation. In fact, the nature of the building-blocks of galaxies such as the Milky Way, and in particular, those of their stellar haloes, has been a matter of a substantial debate (Venn et al. 2004). Unlike other stellar tracers, RR Lyrae offer a snapshot of the stellar content present at the epoch when most of the merging action is predicted to have taken place, and thus they are ideal witnesses of this process.
Cepheids are excellent stellar tracers: they are bright enough to be observed even at large distances; their distances can be accurately determined via period-luminosity relations; their spectra contain numerous lines that enable us to derive abundances for many α, iron-peak or neutron-capture elements. Classical Cepheids are yellow supergiants that trace the young populations (⩽ 300 Myr); Type II Cepheids are post Horizontal Branch, low-mass, Population II stars (⩾ 10 Gyr). Both can be used for many purposes in Milky Way archaeology.
The thick disc is a major component of the Milky Way but its epoch of formation and characteristics are still not yet well constrained. The Besançon Galaxy Model (BGM, Robin et al. 2003) is a population synthesis model based on a scenario of formation and evolution of the Galaxy, a star formation history, and a set of stellar evolution models. Thanks to Lagarde et al. (2017), new evolutionary tracks have been introduced into the Besancon Galaxy Model (STAREVOL, Lagarde et al. 2012) to provide global asteroseismic and surface chemical properties along the evolutionary stages. This updated Galaxy model will allow us to constrain the thick disc structure and history using the Markov Chain Monte Carlo fitting method (MCMC). We show preliminary results applying this MCMC method on the 2MASS photometric survey.
The present-day response of a Galactic disc stellar population to a non-axisymmetric perturbation of the potential, in the form of a bar or spiral arms, can be treated, away from the main resonances, through perturbation theory within the action-angle coordinates of the unperturbed axisymmetric system. The first order moments of such a perturbed distribution function (DF) in the presence of spiral arms give rise to non-zero radial and vertical mean stellar velocities, called breathing modes. Such an Eulerian linearized treatment however diverges at resonances. The Lagrangian approach to the impact of non-axisymmetries at resonances avoids this problem. It is based on the construction of new orbital tori in the resonant trapping region, which come complete with a new system of angle-action variables. These new tori can be populated by phase-averaging the unperturbed DF over the new tori. This boils down to phase-mixing the DF in terms of the new angles, such that the DF for trapped orbits only depends on the new set of actions. This opens the way to quantitatively fitting the effects of the bar and spirals to Gaia data with an action-based DF.
We show how to capture the behaviour of the phase-space distribution function (DF) of a Galactic disc stellar population at a resonance. This is done by averaging the Hamiltonian over fast angle variables and re-expressing the DF in terms of a new set of canonical actions and angles variables valid in the resonant region. We then assign to the resonant DF the time average along the orbits of the axisymmetric DF expressed in the new set of actions and angles. This boils down to phase-mixing the DF in terms of the new angles, such that the DF for trapped orbits only depends on the new set of actions. This opens the way to quantitatively fitting the effects of the bar and spirals to Gaia data in terms of distribution functions in action space.
We use the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 12, which is the largest available white dwarf catalogue to date, to study the evolution of the kinematical properties of the population of white dwarfs of the Galactic disk. We derive masses, ages, photometric distances and radial velocities for all white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich atmospheres. For those stars for which proper motions from the USNO-B1 catalogue are available, the three-dimensional components of the velocity are obtained. This subset of the original sample comprises 20,247 stars, making it the largest sample of white dwarfs with measured three-dimensional velocities. The volume probed by our sample is large, allowing us to obtain relevant kinematical information. In particular, our sample extends from a Galactocentric radial distance RG = 7.8 to 9.3 kpc, and vertical distances from the Galactic plane ranging from Z = +0.5 to –0.5 kpc.
As new work on the proper motions (PMs) of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) has come out, our view of the history of the Magellanic Clouds has evolved. We now believe they are on their first infall into the Milky Way (MW), having been tidally bound at the start of infall (though not necessarily now). Combining these observations with initial PMs of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) suggests a new formation mechanism of the Magellanic Stream through the stripping of material from the SMC. However, large uncertainties remain in the exact mass of the LMC. We present a measurement of the systemic proper motions of the SMC from astrometry with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), covering a ~3 year baseline of 30 fields with background QSOs. We find these motions to be μW = −0.82 ± 0.06 mas/yr and μN = −1.23 ± 0.07 mas/yr. Combining these measurements with previous efforts in studying the Clouds will help constrain their interactions with each other and the MW, including the mass of the LMC and the MW, as well as provide new insight into the internal dynamics of the SMC.
Using the VLBA, the BeSSeL survey has provided distances and proper motions of young massive stars, allowing an accurate measure of the Galactic spiral structure. By the same technique, we are planning to map the inner Galaxy using positions and velocities of evolved stars (provided by the BAaDE survey). These radio astrometric measurements (BeSSeL and BAaDE) will be complementary to Gaia results and the overlap will provide important clues on the intrinsic properties and population distribution of the stars in the bulge.
We investigate here the effect of the selection function on the metallicity distribution function (MDF) as well as on the vertical metallicity gradient by studying similar lines-of-sight using four different spectroscopic surveys (APOGEE, LAMOST, RAVE and Gaia-ESO) which have different targeting strategies and therefore different selection functions. We create mock fields for each survey using two stellar population synthesis models, GALAXIA and TRILEGAL. The effects of the selection function are studied in detail by applying the selection function to the two models and comparing the MDF as well as vertical metallicity gradients of the selected sources with that of the underlying sample. We find a negligible selection function effect on the MDF as well as on the vertical metallicity gradients for APOGEE, RAVE and LAMOST, and estimate a mean vertical metallicity gradient of -0.241±0.028 dex kpc−1.
We report the discovery by APOGEE of five mildly metal-poor ([Fe/H] >−1) anomalous giant stars in the halo/disk/bulge Galaxy with abundances of C, N, and Al that are typically found in globular cluster stars (GCs, see e.g. Carretta et al. 2009a; Mészáros et al. 2015; Pancino et al. 2017; Schiavon et al. 2017a; Tang et al. 2017) and in the inner Galaxy (e.g., Schiavon et al. 2017b; Recio-Blanco et al. 2017) simultaneously with atypical abundances of Mg (Mg-poor: [Mg/Fe] < 0) never before seen in Milky Way (MW) GCs, dwarf galaxies (see Hasselquist et al. 2017) neither in MW field stars. Additionally, four new moderately metal-poor ([Fe/H] <−1) anomalous giant stars (i.e., N-rich, Al-rich and C-poor) with trustly GCs second-generation like chemical patterns were identified within the Galactic bulge, halo and disk field.
Using data from the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) and the Tycho- Gaia astrometric solution catalogue (TGAS), we study the vertical velocity (Vz) patterns in the Milky Way disc. We search in particular for variation in velocity with distance above and below the disc midplane. In contrast to previous suggestions of a breathing mode seen in RAVE data, our results support a combination of bending and breathing modes, likely generated by a combination of external or internal and external mechanisms.
UBVRI photoelectric monitoring of the Be star X Per, a transient X-ray binary, during the last four years, along with some optical spectra are presented and briefly discussed in the context of the long term behaviour of the system.
HDE 245770 = V725 Tau, the optical counterpart of A0535+26, presented in the last three years a period of uncommon optical faintness and of exceptionally low spectral activity. Photometric data obtained in 1997 and 1998 show a fading in all color, followed in 1999 by a nearly constant phase in which the star attained the lowest level of the last 23 years. In 1998 the emission lines became much fainter than in 1997, changing slowly from emission to absorption. In November 1998 only Hα was still showing a weak emission with an absorption core; this behaviour suggests the occurrence of a shell phase.
The question of whether the rise in CO2 levels observed during the industrial era has influenced the rates of tree biomass growth represents one of the main unsolved questions in the field of climate change science. In this framework, the African tropical forest represents one of the most important carbon (C) sinks, but detailed knowledge of its response to elevated CO2 is still lacking, especially regarding tree growth rate estimations. A major limitation to determining growth rates in the African tropical region is that many trees lack seasonality in cambial activity determining annual growth rings. In this study, several species of trees characterizing the African tropical forest have been investigated to estimate their biomass growth rate by means of a procedure based on 14C and growth models. A total of 71 subsamples were analyzed for a Entandrophragma cylindricum (sapele) tree, and 38 and 25 wood subsamples for Erythrophleum suaveolens (tali) and Triplochiton scleroxylon (ayous) trees, respectively, using radiocarbon measurements at the Centre for Isotopic Research on Cultural and Environmental Heritage (CIRCE). All measured modern samples were in agreement with the Southern Hemisphere (SH) 14C bomb-spike curve. Observed preliminary results indicate a decrease in the growth rate of the sapele tree (∼350 yr old) in the industrial period compared to the pre-industrial era. Growth rates for trees of the other 2 species were higher than sapele, with ayous being the fastest-growing species.
The electronic structure of amorphous carbon nitride (a-C:H:N) thin films prepared by radiofrequency (rf) plasma decomposition of CH4/N2 mixture was determined by soft x-ray photoe1ectron spectroscopy by the mean of synchrotron radiation source. On increasing N2 fraction, the valence band shows profound changes. The new features are identified by a comparison of the experimental spectra with theoretically weighted density of the states of graphite and C3N4 structures.
The annealing behavior of silicon implanted SiO2 layers is studied using continuous and time-gated photoluminescence (PL). Two PL emission bands are observed. A band centered at 560 nm is present in as implanted samples and it is still observed after 1000 °C annealing. The emission time is fast (0.2 -2 ns). A second band centered at 780 nm further increases when hydrogen annealing was performed. The emission time is long (1 μs - 0.3 ms).