On the chemical and structural evolution of the galactic disk

Daisuke Toyouchi, Masashi Chiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study the detailed properties of the radial metallicity gradient in the stellar disk of our Galaxy to constrain its chemical and structural evolution. For this purpose we select and analyze 18,500 disk stars taken from two data sets, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the High-Accuracy Radial velocity Planetary Searcher (HARPS). On these surveys we examine the metallicity gradient, Δ[Fe/H]/ΔR g, along the guiding center radii, R g, of stars and its dependence on the [α/Fe] ratios to infer the original metallicity distribution of the gas disk from which those stars formed and its time evolution. In both sample sources, the thick-disk candidate stars characterized by high [α/Fe] ratios ([α/Fe] > 0.3 in SDSS, [α/Fe] > 0.2 in HARPS) are found to show a positive Δ[Fe/H]/ΔR g, whereas the thin-disk candidate stars characterized by lower [α/Fe] ratios show a negative one. Furthermore, we find that the relatively young thin-disk population characterized by much lower [α/Fe] ratios ([α/Fe] < 0.2 in SDSS, [α/Fe] < 0.1 in HARPS) notably shows a flattening Δ[Fe/H]/ΔR g with decreasing [α/Fe], in contrast to the old one with higher [α/Fe] ratios ([α/Fe] 0.2 in SDSS, [α/Fe] 0.1 in HARPS). The possible implication for early disk evolution is discussed in the context of galaxy formation accompanying the rapid infall of primordial gas on the inner disk region, which can generate a positive metallicity gradient, and the subsequent chemical evolution of the disk, which results in a flattening effect of a metallicity gradient at later epochs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume788
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 10

Keywords

  • Galaxy: abundances
  • Galaxy: disk
  • Galaxy: evolution
  • Galaxy: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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