The GALAH survey: Properties of the Galactic disc(s) in the solar neighbourhood

L. Duong, K. C. Freeman, M. Asplund, L. Casagrande, S. Buder, K. Lind, M. Ness, J. Bland-Hawthorn, G. M. De Silva, V. D'Orazi, J. Kos, G. F. Lewis, J. Lin, S. L. Martell, K. Schlesinger, S. Sharma, J. D. Simpson, D. B. Zucker, T. Zwitter, B. AnguianoG. S. Da Costa, E. Hyde, J. Horner, P. R. Kafle, D. M. Nataf, W. Reid, D. Stello, Y. S. Ting, R. F.G. Wyse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using data from the GALAH pilot survey, we determine properties of the Galactic thin and thick discs near the solar neighbourhood. The data cover a small range of Galactocentric radius (7.9 ≲ RGC ≲ 9.5 kpc), but extend up to 4 kpc in height from the Galactic plane, and several kpc in the direction of Galactic anti-rotation (at longitude 260° ≤ ℓ ≤ 280°). This allows us to reliably measure the vertical density and abundance profiles of the chemically and kinematically defined 'thick' and 'thin' discs of the Galaxy. The thin disc (low-α population) exhibits a steep negative vertical metallicity gradient, at d[M/H]/dz = -0.18 ± 0.01 dex kpc -1 , which is broadly consistent with previous studies. In contrast, its vertical α-abundance profile is almost flat, with a gradient of d[α/M]/dz = 0.008 ± 0.002 dex kpc -1 . The steep vertical metallicity gradient of the low-α population is in agreement with models where radial migration has a major role in the evolution of the thin disc. The thick disc (high-α population) has a weaker vertical metallicity gradient d[M/H]/dz = -0.058 ± 0.003 dex kpc -1 . The α-abundance of the thick disc is nearly constant with height, d[α/M]/dz = 0.007 ± 0.002 dex kpc -1 . The negative gradient in metallicity and the small gradient in [α/M] indicate that the high-α population experienced a settling phase, but also formed prior to the onset of major Type Ia supernova enrichment. We explore the implications of the distinct α-enrichments and narrow [α/M] range of the sub-populations in the context of thick disc formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5216-5232
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume476
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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