Chemodynamical modelling of the Galactic bulge and bar
Matthieu Portail, Christopher Wegg, Ortwin Gerhard and Melissa Ness, 2017, MNRAS, 470, 1233
We present the first self-consistent chemodynamical model fitted to reproduce data for the galactic bulge, bar and inner disk. We extend the Made-to-Measure method to an augmented phase-space including the metallicity of stars, and show its first application to the bar region of the Milky Way. Using data from the ARGOS and APOGEE (DR12) surveys, we adapt the recent dynamical model from Portail et al. to reproduce the observed spatial and kinematic variations as a function of metallicity, thus allowing the detailed study of the 3D density distributions, kinematics and orbital structure of stars in different metallicity bins. We find that metal-rich stars with [Fe/H] > -0.5 are strongly barred and have dynamical properties that are consistent with a common disk origin. Metal-poor stars with [Fe/H] < -0.5 show strong kinematic variations with metallicity, indicating varying contributions from the underlying stellar populations. Outside the central kpc, metal-poor stars are found to have the density and kinematics of a thick disk while in the inner kpc, evidence for an extra concentration of metal-poor stars is found. Finally, the combined orbit distributions of all metallicities in the model naturally reproduce the observed vertex deviations in the bulge. This paper demonstrates the power of Made-to-Measure chemodynamical models, that when extended to other chemical dimensions will be very powerful tools to maximize the information obtained from large spectroscopic surveys such as APOGEE, GALAH and MOONS.
Observations show a clear vertical metallicity gradient in the Galactic bulge, which is often taken as a signature of dissipative processes in the formation of a classical bulge. Various evidence shows, however, that the Milky Way is a barred galaxy with a boxy bulge representing the inner three-dimensional part of the bar. Here we show with a secular evolution N-body model that a boxy bulge formed through bar and buckling instabilities can show vertical metallicity gradients similar to the observed gradient if the initial axisymmetric disk had a comparable radial metallicity gradient. In this framework, the range of metallicities in bulge fields constrains the chemical structure of the Galactic disk at early times before bar formation. Our secular evolution model was previously shown to reproduce inner Galaxy star counts and we show here that it also has cylindrical rotation. We use it to predict a full mean metallicity map across the Galactic bulge from a simple metallicity model for the initial disk. This map shows a general outward gradient on the sky as well as longitudinal perspective asymmetries.