Publications by James Binney

Migration and kinematics in growing disc galaxies with thin and thick discs

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 470 (2017) 3685-3706

M Aumer, J Binney, R Schoenrich

We analyse disc heating and radial migration in N-body models of growing disc galaxies with thick and thin discs. Similar to thin-disc-only models, galaxies with appropriate non-axisymmetric structures reproduce observational constraints on radial disc heating in and migration to the Solar Neighbourhood (Snhd). The presence of thick discs can suppress non-axisymmetries and thus higher baryonic-to-dark matter fractions are required than in models that only have a thin disc. Models that are baryon-dominated to roughly the Solar radius R0 are favoured, in agreement with data for the Milky Way. For inside-out growing discs, today’s thick-disc stars at R0 are dominated by outwards migrators. Whether outwards migrators are vertically hotter than non-migrators depends on the radial gradient of the thick disc vertical velocity dispersion. There is an effective upper boundary in angular momentum that thick disc stars born in the centre of a galaxy can reach by migration, which explains the fading of the high [α/Fe] sequence outside R0. Our models compare well to Snhd kinematics from RAVE-TGAS. For such comparisons it is important to take into account the azimuthal variation of kinematics at R ∼ R0 and biases from survey selection functions. The vertical heating of thin disc stars by giant molecular clouds is only mildly affected by the presence of thick discs. Our models predict higher vertical velocity dispersions for the oldest stars than found in the Snhd age velocity dispersion relation, possibly because of measurement uncertainties or an underestimation of the number of old cold stars in our models.

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