Thick disk kinematics from RAVE and the solar motion

S. Pasetto*, E. K. Grebel, T. Zwitter, C. Chiosi, G. Bertelli, O. Bienayme, G. Seabroke, J. Bland-Hawthorn, C. Boeche, B. K. Gibson, G. Gilmore, U. Munari, J. F. Navarro, Q. Parker, W. Reid, A. Silviero, M. Steinmetz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Context. Radial velocity surveys such as the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) provide us with measurements of hundreds of thousands of nearby stars most of which belong to the Galactic thin, thick disk or halo. Ideally, to study the Galactic disks (both thin and thick) one should make use of the multi-dimensional phase-space and the whole pattern of chemical abundances of their stellar populations. Aims. In this paper, with the aid of the RAVE survey, we study the thin and thick disks of the Milky Way, focusing on the latter. We present a technique to disentangle the stellar content of the two disks based on the kinematics and other stellar parameters such as the surface gravity of the stars. Using the Padova Galaxy model, we checked the ability of our method to correctly isolate the thick disk component from the Galaxy mixture of stellar populations. Methods. We introduce selection criteria in order to clean the observed radial velocities from the Galactic differential rotation and to take into account the partial sky coverage of RAVE. We developed a numerical technique to statistically disentangle thin and thick disks from their mixture. Results. We deduce the components of the solar motion relative to the local standard of rest (LSR) in the radial and vertical direction, the rotational lag of the thick disk component relative to the LSR, and the square root of the absolute value of the velocity dispersion tensor for the thick disk alone. The analysis of the thin disk is presented in another paper. We find good agreement with previous independent parameter determinations. In our analysis we used photometrically determined distances. In the Appendix we show that similar values can be found for the thick disk alone as derived in the main sections of our paper even without the knowledge of photometric distances.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA70
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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