6,637 research outputs found

    The hunt for the Milky Way's accreted disc

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    The Milky Way is expected to host an accreted disc of stars and dark matter. This forms as massive >1:10 mergers are preferentially dragged towards the disc plane by dynamical friction and then tidally shredded. The accreted disc likely contributes only a tiny fraction of the Milky Way's thin and thick stellar disc. However, it is interesting because: (i) its associated `dark disc' has important implications for experiments hoping to detect a dark matter particle in the laboratory; and (ii) the presence or absence of such a disc constrains the merger history of our Galaxy. In this work, we develop a chemo-dynamical template to hunt for the accreted disc. We apply our template to the high-resolution spectroscopic sample from Ruchti et al. (2011), finding at present no evidence for accreted stars. Our results are consistent with a quiescent Milky Way with no >1:10 mergers since the disc formed and a correspondingly light `dark disc'. However, we caution that while our method can robustly identify accreted stars, our incomplete stellar sample makes it more challenging to definitively rule them out. Larger unbiased stellar samples will be required for this.Comment: 14 pages; 8 figures; 1 table. Accepted for publication in MNRA

    Athlete learning in Olympic sport

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    High-performance sport impacts athletes beyond the physical. Coaches and coaching practice are particularly influential in shaping this learning and development. This article examines the learning identified through an inductive content analysis of eight former Olympic athletes’ career narratives. Three phases of learning could be identified across the cohort: ‘Growing into high-performance sport’, ‘Making sense of high-performance sport’, and ‘(Re)shaping high-performance sport’. A cultural perspective of learning, in particular the metaphor of ‘becoming’, is employed to interpret the Olympians’ learning experiences. The findings of this research indicate that athlete learning is bound by particular high-performance sporting contexts and career phases, yet impacted by the athletes’ individual backgrounds and dispositions. Further, data indicate that athletes’ personal development reflexively intertwines with athletic performance and performance enhancement. Implications for coaches are to: (1) involve athletes in co-constructing their sporting cultures and training contexts; and (2) provide possibilities and support for athletes to develop personally

    unveiling systematic biases in the 1d lte excitation-ionization balance of fe for fgk stars: A novel approach to determination of stellar parameters

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    We present a comprehensive analysis of different techniques available for the spectroscopic analysis of FGK stars and provide a recommended methodology which efficiently estimates accurate stellar atmospheric parameters for large samples of stars. Our analysis includes a simultaneous equivalent width analysis of Fe I and Fe II spectral lines, and for the first time, utilizes on-the-fly non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) corrections of individual Fe I lines. We further investigate several temperature scales, finding that estimates from Balmer line measurements provide the most accurate effective temperatures at all metallicities. We apply our analysis to a large sample of both dwarf and giant stars selected from the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) survey. We then show that the difference between parameters determined by our method and that by the standard 1D LTE excitation-ionization balance of Fe reveals substantial systematic biases: up to 400 K in effective temperature, 1.0 dex in surface gravity and 0.4 dex in metallicity for stars with [Fe/H] -2.5. This has large implications for the study of the stellar populations in the Milky Wa

    Non-local Thermodynamic Equilibrium Stellar Spectroscopy with 1D and 〈3D〉 Models. II. Chemical Properties of the Galactic Metal-poor Disk and the Halo

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    From exploratory studies and theoretical expectations it is known that simplifying approximations in spectroscopic analysis (local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE), 1D) lead to systematic biases of stellar parameters and abundances. These biases depend strongly on surface gravity, temperature and, in particular, for LTE versus non-LTE (NLTE), on metallicity of the stars. Here we analyze the [Mg/Fe] and [Fe/H] plane of a sample of 326 stars, comparing LTE and NLTE results obtained using 1D hydrostatic models and averaged ⟨3D⟩\langle 3{\rm{D}}\rangle models. We show that compared to the ⟨3D⟩\langle 3{\rm{D}}\rangle NLTE benchmark, the other three methods display increasing biases toward lower metallicities, resulting in false trends of [Mg/Fe] against [Fe/H], which have profound implications for interpretations by chemical evolution models. In our best ⟨3D⟩\langle 3{\rm{D}}\rangle NLTE model, the halo and disk stars show a clearer behavior in the [Mg/Fe]–[Fe/H] plane, from the knee in abundance space down to the lowest metallicities. Our sample has a large fraction of thick disk stars and this population extends down to at least [Fe/H] ~ −1.6 dex, further than previously proven. The thick disk stars display a constant [Mg/Fe] ≈ 0.3 dex, with a small intrinsic dispersion in [Mg/Fe] that suggests that a fast SN Ia channel is not relevant for the disk formation. The halo stars reach higher [Mg/Fe] ratios and display a net trend of [Mg/Fe] at low metallicities, paired with a large dispersion in [Mg/Fe]. These indicate the diverse origin of halo stars from accreted low-mass systems to stochastic/inhomogeneous chemical evolution in the Galactic halo

    Old puzzle, new insights: a lithium rich giant quietly burning helium in its core

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    About 1% of giant stars have been shown to have large surface Li abundances, which is unexpected according to standard stellar evolution models. Several scenarios for lithium production have been proposed, but it is still unclear why these Li-rich giants exist. A missing piece in this puzzle is the knowledge of the exact stage of evolution of these stars. Using low-and-high-resolution spectroscopic observations, we have undertaken a survey of lithium-rich giants in the Kepler field. In this letter, we report the finding of the first confirmed Li-rich core-helium-burning giant, as revealed by asteroseismic analysis. The evolutionary timescales constrained by its mass suggest that Li-production most likely took place through non-canonical mixing at the RGB-tip, possibly during the helium flash.Comment: 16 pages, 4 figures, 1 table, accepted in ApJ Letter

    Stellar science from a blue wavelength range - A possible design for the blue arm of 4MOST

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    From stellar spectra, a variety of physical properties of stars can be derived. In particular, the chemical composition of stellar atmospheres can be inferred from absorption line analyses. These provide key information on large scales, such as the formation of our Galaxy, down to the small-scale nucleosynthesis processes that take place in stars and supernovae. By extending the observed wavelength range toward bluer wavelengths, we optimize such studies to also include critical absorption lines in metal-poor stars, and allow for studies of heavy elements (Z>38) whose formation processes remain poorly constrained. In this context, spectrographs optimized for observing blue wavelength ranges are essential, since many absorption lines at redder wavelengths are too weak to be detected in metal-poor stars. This means that some elements cannot be studied in the visual-redder regions, and important scientific tracers and science cases are lost. The present era of large public surveys will target millions of stars. Here we describe the requirements driving the design of the forthcoming survey instrument 4MOST, a multi-object spectrograph commissioned for the ESO VISTA 4m-telescope. We focus here on high-density, wide-area survey of stars and the science that can be achieved with high-resolution stellar spectroscopy. Scientific and technical requirements that governed the design are described along with a thorough line blending analysis. For the high-resolution spectrograph, we find that a sampling of >2.5 (pixels per resolving element), spectral resolution of 18000 or higher, and a wavelength range covering 393-436 nm, is the most well-balanced solution for the instrument. A spectrograph with these characteristics will enable accurate abundance analysis (+/-0.1 dex) in the blue and allow us to confront the outlined scientific questions. (abridged)Comment: 14 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in A

    A High-resolution Scintillating Fiber Tracker With Silicon Photomultiplier Array Readout

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    We present prototype modules for a tracking detector consisting of multiple layers of 0.25 mm diameter scintillating fibers that are read out by linear arrays of silicon photomultipliers. The module production process is described and measurements of the key properties for both the fibers and the readout devices are shown. Five modules have been subjected to a 12 GeV/c proton/pion testbeam at CERN. A spatial resolution of 0.05 mm and light yields exceeding 20 detected photons per minimum ionizing particle have been achieved, at a tracking efficiency of more than 98.5%. Possible techniques for further improvement of the spatial resolution are discussed.Comment: 31 pages, 27 figures, pre-print version of an article published in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, Vol. 62

    The Dark Matter Density in the Solar Neighborhood reconsidered

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    Both the gas flaring and the dip in the rotation curve, which was recently reconfirmed with precise measurements using the VERA VLBI array in Japan, suggest doughnut-like substructure in the dark matter (DM) halo. A global fit to all available data shows that the data are indeed best described by an NFW DM profile complemented by two doughnut-like DM substructures with radii of 4.2 and 12.4 kpc, which coincide with the local dust ring and the Monocerus ring of stars, respectively. Both regions have been suggested as regions with tidal streams from "shredded" satellites. If real, the radial extensions of these nearby ringlike structures enhance the local dark matter density by a factor of four to about 1.3±0.3\pm0.3 GeV/cm3^3. It is shown that i) this higher DM density is perfectly consistent with the local gravitational potential determining the surface density and the local matter density (Oort limit), ii) previous determinations of the surface density were biased by the assumption of a smoothly varying DM halo and iii) the s-shaped gas flaring is explained. Such a possible enhancement of the local DM density is of great interest for direct DM searches and would change the directional dependence for indirect DM searches.Comment: 14 pages, 4 figures, extended version, accepted for publication in JCA

    The RAVE Survey: Constraining the Local Galactic Escape Speed

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    We report new constraints on the local escape speed of our Galaxy. Our analysis is based on a sample of high velocity stars from the RAVE survey and two previously published datasets. We use cosmological simulations of disk galaxy formation to motivate our assumptions on the shape of the velocity distribution, allowing for a significantly more precise measurement of the escape velocity compared to previous studies. We find that the escape velocity lies within the range 498\kms < \ve < 608 \kms (90 per cent confidence), with a median likelihood of 544\kms. The fact that \ve^2 is significantly greater than 2\vc^2 (where \vc=220\kms is the local circular velocity) implies that there must be a significant amount of mass exterior to the Solar circle, i.e. this convincingly demonstrates the presence of a dark halo in the Galaxy. For a simple isothermal halo, one can calculate that the minimum radial extent is ∼58\sim58 kpc. We use our constraints on \ve to determine the mass of the Milky Way halo for three halo profiles. For example, an adiabatically contracted NFW halo model results in a virial mass of 1.42−0.54+1.14×1012M⊙1.42^{+1.14}_{-0.54}\times10^{12}M_\odot and virial radius of 305−45+66305^{+66}_{-45} kpc (90 per cent confidence). For this model the circular velocity at the virial radius is 142^{+31}_{-21}\kms. Although our halo masses are model dependent, we find that they are in good agreement with each other.Comment: 19 pages, 9 figures, MNRAS (accepted). v2 incorporates minor cosmetic revisions which have no effect on the results or conclusion

    The Gaia-ESO Survey: the selection function of the Milky Way field stars

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    The Gaia-ESO Survey was designed to target all major Galactic components (i.e., bulge, thin and thick discs, halo and clusters), with the goal of constraining the chemical and dynamical evolution of the Milky Way. This paper presents the methodology and considerations that drive the selection of the targeted, allocated and successfully observed Milky Way field stars. The detailed understanding of the survey construction, specifically the influence of target selection criteria on observed Milky Way field stars is required in order to analyse and interpret the survey data correctly. We present the target selection process for the Milky Way field stars observed with VLT/FLAMES and provide the weights that characterise the survey target selection. The weights can be used to account for the selection effects in the Gaia-ESO Survey data for scientific studies. We provide a couple of simple examples to highlight the necessity of including such information in studies of the stellar populations in the Milky Way.Comment: 18 pages, 19 figures, Accepted for publication in MNRAS (April 25, 2016
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