Formation of the Galactic Stellar Halo: Origin of the Metallicity-Eccentricity Relation

Kenji Bekki, Masashi Chiba

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28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Motivated by the recently improved knowledge on the kinematic and chemical properties of the Galactic metal-poor stars, we present the numerical simulation for the formation of the Galactic stellar halo to interpret the observational results. As a model for the Galaxy contraction, we adopt the currently standard theory of galaxy formation based on the hierarchical assembly of the cold dark matter fluctuations. We find, for the simulated stars with [Fe/H]<=-1.0, that there is no strong correlation between metal abundances and orbital eccentricities, in good agreement with the observations. Moreover, the observed fraction of the low-eccentricity stars is reproduced correctly for [Fe/H]<=-1.6 and approximately for the intermediate abundance range of -1.6<[Fe/H]<=-1.0. We show that this successful reproduction of the kinematics of the Galactic halo is a natural consequence of the hierarchical evolution of the subgalactic clumps seeded from the cold dark matter density fluctuations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L89-L92
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Volume534
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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