Journal Article

Local stellar kinematics from RAVE data – III. Radial and vertical metallicity gradients based on red clump stars

S. Bilir, S. Karaali, S. Ak, Ö. Önal, N. D. Dağtekin, T. Yontan, G. Gilmore and G. M. Seabroke

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 421, issue 4, pages 3362-3374
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Local stellar kinematics from RAVE data – III. Radial and vertical metallicity gradients based on red clump stars

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We investigate radial and vertical metallicity gradients for a sample of red clump stars from the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) Data Release 3. We select a total of 6781 stars, using a selection of colour, surface gravity and uncertainty in the derived space motion, and calculate for each star a probabilistic (kinematic) population assignment to a thin or thick disc using space motion and additionally another (dynamical) assignment using stellar vertical orbital eccentricity. We derive almost equal metallicity gradients as a function of the Galactocentric distance for the high‐probability thin‐disc stars and for stars with vertical orbital eccentricities consistent with being dynamically young, ev≤ 0.07, i.e. d[M/H]/dRm=−0.041 ± 0.003 and d[M/H]/dRm=−0.041 ± 0.007 dex kpc−1. Metallicity gradients as a function of the distance from the Galactic plane for the same populations are steeper, i.e. d[M/H]/dzmax=−0.109 ± 0.008 and d[M/H]/dzmax=−0.260 ± 0.031 dex kpc−1, respectively. Rm and zmax are the arithmetic mean of the perigalactic and apogalactic distances, and the maximum distance to the Galactic plane, respectively. Samples including more thick‐disc red clump giant stars show systematically shallower abundance gradients. These findings can be used to distinguish between different formation scenarios of the thick and thin discs.

Keywords: stars: abundances; Galaxy: abundances; Galaxy: disc; Galaxy: evolution

Journal Article.  6112 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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