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Title: Migration and heating in the galactic disc from encounters between Sagittarius and the Milky Way

Stars born on near-circular orbits in spiral galaxies can subsequently migrate to different orbits due to interactions with non-axisymmetric disturbances within the disc such as bars or spiral arms. This paper extends the study of migration to examine the role of external influences using the example of the interaction of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy (Sgr) with the Milky Way (MW). We first make impulse approximation estimates to characterize the influence of Sgr disc passages. The tidal forcing from Sgr can produce changes in both guiding radius ΔRg and orbital eccentricity, as quantified by the maximum radial excursion ΔRmax. These changes follow a quadrupole-like pattern across the face of the disc, with amplitude increasing with Galactocentric radius. We next examine a collisionless N-body simulation of a Sgr-like satellite interacting with an MW-like galaxy and find that Sgr’s influence in the outer disc dominates the secular evolution of orbits between disc passages. Finally, we use the same simulation to explore possible observable signatures of Sgr-induced migration by painting the simulation with different age stellar populations. We find that following Sgr disc passages, the migration it induces manifests within an annulus as an approximate quadrupole in azimuthal metallicity variations (δ[Fe/H]), along with more » systematic variations in orbital eccentricity, ΔRmax. These systematic variations can persist for several rotational periods. We conclude that this combination of signatures may be used to distinguish between the different migration mechanisms shaping the chemical abundance patterns of the MW’s thin disc.

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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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p. 5067-5083
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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