The asymmetric drift, the local standard of rest, and implications from RAVE data

O. Golubov, A. Just, O. Bienaymé, J. Bland-Hawthorn, B. K. Gibson, E. K. Grebel, U. Munari, J. F. Navarro, Q. Parker, G. Seabroke, W. Reid, A. Siviero, M. Steinmetz, M. Williams, F. Watson, T. Zwitter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)
    53 Downloads (Pure)


    Context. The determination of the local standard of rest (LSR), which corresponds to the measurement of the peculiar motion of the Sun based on the derivation of the asymmetric drift of stellar populations, is still a matter of debate. The classical value of the tangential peculiar motion of the Sun with respect to the LSR was challenged in recent years, claiming a significantly larger value. Aims. We present an improved Jeans analysis, which allows a better interpretation of the measured kinematics of stellar populations in the Milky Way disc. We show that the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) sample of dwarf stars is an excellent data set to derive tighter boundary conditions to chemodynamical evolution models of the extended solar neighbourhood. Methods. We propose an improved version of the Strömberg relation with the radial scalelengths as the only unknown. We redetermine the asymmetric drift and the LSR for dwarf stars based on RAVE data. Additionally, we discuss the impact of adopting a different LSR value on the individual scalelengths of the subpopulations. Results. Binning RAVE stars in metallicity reveals a bigger asymmetric drift (corresponding to a smaller radial scalelength) for more metal-rich populations. With the standard assumption of velocity-dispersion independent radial scalelengths in each metallicity bin, we redetermine the LSR. The new Strömberg equation yields a joint LSR value of V = 3.06 ± 0.68 km s-1, which is even smaller than the classical value based on Hipparcos data. The corresponding radial scalelength increases from 1.6 kpc for the metal-rich bin to 2.9 kpc for the metal-poor bin, with a trend of an even larger scalelength for young metal-poor stars. When adopting the recent Schönrich value of V = 12.24 km s-1 for the LSR, the new Strömberg equation yields much larger individual radial scalelengths of the RAVE subpopulations, which seem unphysical in part. Conclusions. The new Strömberg equation allows a cleaner interpretation of the kinematic data of disc stars in terms of radial scalelengths. Lifting the LSR value by a few km s-1 compared to the classical value results in strongly increased radial scalelengths with a trend of smaller values for larger velocity dispersions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberA92
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright ESO 2013. First published in Astronomy and astrophysics 557, A92, 2013, published by EDP Sciences. The original publication is available at


    Dive into the research topics of 'The asymmetric drift, the local standard of rest, and implications from RAVE data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this