Evolution of the Galactic Halo and Disk
Author: Gilmore G.
Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 267, Numbers 1-4, 1999 , pp. 109-117(9)
Correlations between stellar kinematics and chemical abundances are fossil evidence for evolutionary connections between Galactic structural components. Extensive stellar surveys show that the only tolerably clear distinction between galactic components appears in the distributions of specific angular momentum. Here the stellar metal-poor halo and the metal-rich bulge are indistinguishable from each other, as are the thick disk and the old disk. Each pair is very distinct from the other. This leads to an evolutionary model in which the metal-poor stellar halo evolves into the inner bulge, while the thick disk is a precursor to the thin disk. These evolutionary sequences are distinct. The galaxy is made of two discrete 'populations', one of low and one of high angular momentum. Some (minor?) complexity is added to this picture by the debris of late and continuing mergers, which will be especially important in the outer stellar halo.
Document Type: Regular paper
Publication date: 1999-01-01