Origins of the thick disk of the galaxy as traced by metal-poor stars selected from RAVE
Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Postfach 1317, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
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Models of the formation of the thick disk of the Milky Way Galaxy make specific predictions about the chemical abundance properties of the metal-weak (and oldest) stellar population in the thick disk. We have undertaken the study of the elemental abundances and kinematic properties of a sample of 319 candidate metal-poor thick-disk stars selected from the RAVE spectroscopic survey of bright stars. Our aim is to differentiate among the present scenarios of the formation of the thick disk. In this study, we measured the abundances of several alpha-elements and found that the thick-disk [alpha/Fe] ratios are enhanced, implying that enrichment proceeded by purely core-collapse supernovae. Further, the sample probes distances ranging out to about 2 kpc from the Sun, allowing for the investigation of the gradients in the thick disk. I will discuss the results from these investigations and how they compare to the predictions made by present models of the formation of the thick disk.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012