Characterizing the high-velocity stars of RAVE: the discovery of a metal-rich halo star born in the Galactic disc

K. Hawkins, G. Kordopatis, G. Gilmore, T. Masseron, R. F. G. Wyse, Gregory Ruchti, O. Bienayme, J. Bland-Hawthorn, C. Boeche, K. Freeman, B. K. Gibson, E. K. Grebel, A. Helmi, A. Kunder, U. Munari, J. F. Navarro, Q. A. Parker, W. A. Reid, R. D. Scholz, G. SeabrokeA. Siebert, M. Steinmetz, F. Watson, T. Zwitter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We aim to characterize high-velocity (HiVel) stars in the solar vicinity both chemically and kinematically using the fourth data release of the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE). We used a sample of 57 HiVel stars with Galactic rest-frame velocities larger than 275 km s(-1). With 6D position and velocity information, we integrated the orbits of the HiVel stars and found that, on average, they reach out to 13 kpc from the Galactic plane and have relatively eccentric orbits consistent with the Galactic halo. Using the stellar parameters and [alpha/Fe] estimates from RAVE, we found the metallicity distribution of the HiVel stars peak at [M/H] = -1.2 dex and is chemically consistent with the inner halo. There are a few notable exceptions that include a hypervelocity star candidate, an extremely HiVel bound halo star, and one star that is kinematically consistent with the halo but chemically consistent with the disc. High-resolution spectra were obtained for the metal-rich HiVel star candidate and the second highest velocity star in the sample. Using these high-resolution data, we report the discovery of a metal-rich halo star that has likely been dynamically ejected into the halo from the Galactic thick disc. This discovery could aid in explaining the assembly of the most metal-rich component of the Galactic halo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2046-2058
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Free keywords

  • Galaxy: abundances
  • Galaxy: halo
  • Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics


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