Journal Article

Local kinematics and the local standard of rest

Ralph Schönrich, James Binney and Walter Dehnen

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 403, issue 4, pages 1829-1833
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Local kinematics and the local standard of rest

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We re-examine the stellar kinematics of the solar neighbourhood in terms of the velocity υ of the Sun with respect to the local standard of rest. We show that the classical determination of its component V in the direction of Galactic rotation via Strömberg's relation is undermined by the metallicity gradient in the disc, which introduces a correlation between the colour of a group of stars and the radial gradients of its properties. Comparing the local stellar kinematics to a chemodynamical model which accounts for these effects, we obtain (U, V, W)= (11.1+0.69−0.75, 12.24+0.47−0.47, 7.25+0.37−0.36) km s−1, with additional systematic uncertainties ∼(1, 2, 0.5) km s−1. In particular, V is 7 km s−1 larger than previously estimated. The new values of (U, V, W) are extremely insensitive to the metallicity gradient within the disc.

Keywords: stars: kinematics; Galaxy: disc; Galaxy: fundamental parameters; Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics; solar neighbourhood

Journal Article.  3852 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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