The age of the galactic disk
- Sandage, Allan
- Jul 1, 1988.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available. and Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- The galactic disk is a dissipative structure and must, therefore be younger than the halo if galaxy formation generally proceeds by collapse. Just how much younger the oldest stars in the galactic disk are than the oldest halo stars remains an open question. A fast collapse (on a time scale no longer than the rotation period of the extended protogalaxy) permits an age gap of the order of approximately 10 to the 9th power years. A slow collapse, governed by the cooling rate of the partially pressure supported falling gas that formed into what is now the thick stellar disk, permits a longer age gap, claimed by some to be as long as 6 Gyr. Early methods of age dating the oldest components of the disk contain implicit assumptions concerning the details of the age-metallicity relation for stars in the solar neighborhood. The discovery that this relation for open clusters outside the solar circle is different that in the solar neighborhood (Geisler 1987), complicates the earlier arguments. The oldest stars in the galactic disk are at least as old as NGC 188. The new data by Janes on NGC 6791, shown first at this conference, suggest a disk age of at least 12.5 Gyr, as do data near the main sequence termination point of metal rich, high proper motion stars of low orbital eccentricity. Hence, a case can still be made that the oldest part of the galactic thick disk is similar in age to the halo globular clusters, if their ages are the same as 47 Tuc.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19900006553., Accession ID: 90N15869., NASA-CR-186292., PREPRINT-SERIES-288., NAS 1.26:186292., and A Workshop on The Calibration of Stellar Ages; 13-14 May 1988; Middletown, CT; United States.
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