Using tracer particles embedded in self-gravitating shearing sheet N-body simulations, we investigate the distance in guiding centre radius that stars or star clusters can migrate in a few orbital periods. The standard deviations of guiding centre distributions and maximum migration distances depend on the Toomre or critical wavelength and the contrast in mass surface density caused by spiral structure. Comparison between our simulations and estimated guiding radii for a few young supersolar metallicity open clusters, including NGC 6583, suggests that the contrast in mass surface density in the solar neighbourhood has standard deviation (in the surface density distribution) divided by mean of about 1/4 and larger than measured using COBE data by Drimmel and Spergel. Our estimate is consistent with a standard deviation of ∼0.07 dex in the metallicities measured from high-quality spectroscopic data for 38 young open clusters (<1 Gyr) with mean galactocentric radius 7-9 kpc.
- Galaxy: disc
- Galaxy: evolution
- Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics