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Physics  2002 

On the origin of high eccentricity halo stars

DOI: 10.1023/A:1024062431154

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Abstract:

The present-day chemical and dynamical properties of the Milky Way are signatures of the Galaxy's formation and evolution. Using a self consistent chemodynamical evolution code we examine these properties within the currently favoured paradigm for galaxy formation - hierarchical clustering within a CDM cosmology. Our Tree N-body/Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code includes a self-consistent treatment of gravity, hydrodynamics, radiative cooling, star formation, supernova feedback and chemical enrichment. Two models are described which explore the role of small-scale density perturbations in driving the evolution of structure within the Milky Way. The relationship between metallicity and kinematics of halo stars are quantified and the implications for galaxy formation discussed. While high-eccentricity halo stars have previously been considered a signature of ``rapid collapse'', we suggest that many such stars may have come from recently accreted satellites.

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