Journal article

The intermediate age population of the Galactic halo

Jeremy Mould



We have learned recently that the inner halo of the Milky Way contains a kinematically coherent component (Gaia-Enceladus) from a significant merger 10 Gyrs ago. By contrast the inner (defined to exclude the Magellanic Stream) halo contains no similar intruder stellar population of billion year age. The tracer we use to set the corresponding upper limit is Gaia asymptotic giant branch stars, rather than Gaia kinematics. The primary sample is drawn from Gaia DR2 with SkyMapper photometry. This is supplemented with PanSTARRS and 2MASS photometry. As the Gaia mission proceeds, a star formation history in the galactic halo should emerge.

University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by ARC LIEF grant from the Australian Research Council

Awarded by Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO)

Awarded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Awarded by National Science Foundation

Funding Acknowledgements

The national facility capability for SkyMapper has been funded through ARC LIEF grant LE130100104 from the Australian Research Council, awarded to the University of Sydney, the Australian National University, Swinburne University of Technology, the University of Queensland, the University of Western Australia, the University of Melbourne, Curtin University of Technology, Monash University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory. SkyMapper is owned and operated by The Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The survey data were processed and provided by the SkyMapper Team at ANU. The SkyMapper node of the All-Sky Virtual Observatory (ASVO) is hosted at the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). Development and support the SkyMapper node of the ASVO has been funded in part by Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL) and the Australian Government through the Commonwealth's Education Investment Fund (EIF) and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), particularly the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) and the Australian National Data Service Projects (ANDS). Parts of this project were conducted by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), through project number CE110001020. I thank Christian Wolf and Chris Onken and also Alcione Mora of the ESA Gaia archive help desk for their help formulating and implementing database queries. I thank Duncan Forbes and my S5 colleagues for conversations about the halo and an anonymous referee for pointing out a misunderstanding. This work has made use of data from the ESA space mission Gaia, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement.The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys (PS1) have been made possible through contributions of the Institute for Astronomy, the University of Hawaii, the Pan-STARRS Project Office, the Max-Planck Society and its participating institutes, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, The Johns Hopkins University, Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, Queens University Belfast, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network Incorporated, the National Central University of Taiwan, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NNX08AR22G issued through the Planetary Science Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1238877, the University of Maryland, and Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE), the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.