Publications by Ralph Schoenrich

Origin of the high v_los feature in the Galactic bar

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 454 (2015) 3166-3184

M Aumer, R Schönrich

We analyse a controlled N-body + smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulation of a growing disc galaxy within a non-growing, live dark halo. The disc is continuously fed with gas and star particles on near-circular orbits and develops a bar comparable in size to the one of the Milky Way (MW). We extract line of sight velocity v_los distributions from the model and compare it to data recently obtained from the APOGEE survey which show distinct high velocity features around v_los ~ 200 km/s. With an APOGEE like selection function, but without any scaling nor adjustment, we find v_los distributions very similar to those in APOGEE. The stars that make up the high v_los features at positive longitudes l are preferentially young bar stars (age <~ 2-3 Gyr) which move away from us along the rear side of the bar. At negative l, we find the corresponding low v_los feature from stars moving towards us. At l>10 degrees the highest v_los stars are a mixture of bar and background disc stars which complicates the interpretation of observations. The main peak in v_los is dominated by fore- and background stars. At a given time, ~40-50 per cent of high v_los stars occupy x_1 like orbits, but a significant fraction are on more complex orbits. The observed feature is likely due to a population of dynamically cool, young stars formed from gas just outside the bar and subsequently captured by the growing bar. The high v_los features disappear at high latitudes |b|>~2 degrees which explains the non-detection of such features in other surveys.

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