Ensemble age inversions for large spectroscopic surveys. (arXiv:1908.04548v1 [astro-ph.GA])

Ensemble age inversions for large spectroscopic surveys. (arXiv:1908.04548v1 [astro-ph.GA])
<a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Mints_A/0/1/0/all/0/1">Alexey Mints</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Hekker_S/0/1/0/all/0/1">Saskia Hekker</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Minchev_I/0/1/0/all/0/1">Ivan Minchev</a>

Galactic astrophysics is now in the process of building a multi-dimensional
map of the Galaxy. For such a map, stellar ages are the essential ingredient.
Ages are however measured only indirectly by comparing observational data with
models. It is often difficult to provide a single age value for a given star,
as several non-overlapping solutions are possible. We aim at recovering the
underlying log(age) distribution from the measured log(age) probability density
function for an arbitrary set of stars. We build an age inversion method,
namely, we represent the measured log(age) probability density function as a
weighted sum of probability density functions of mono-age populations. Weights
in that sum give the underlying log(age) distribution. Mono-age populations are
simulated so that the distribution of stars on the log g-[Fe/H] plane is close
to that of the observed sample. We tested the age inversion method on simulated
data, demonstrating that it is capable of properly recovering the true log(age)
distribution for a large (N > 103) sample of stars. The method was further
applied to large public spectroscopic surveys. For RAVE-on, LAMOST and APOGEE
we also applied age inversion to mono-metallicity samples, successfully
recovering age-metallicity trends present in higher-precision APOGEE data and
chemical evolution models. We conclude that applying an age inversion method as
presented in this work is necessary to recover the underlying age distribution
of a large (N > 103 ) set of stars. These age distributions can be used to
explore for instance age-metallicity relations.

Galactic astrophysics is now in the process of building a multi-dimensional
map of the Galaxy. For such a map, stellar ages are the essential ingredient.
Ages are however measured only indirectly by comparing observational data with
models. It is often difficult to provide a single age value for a given star,
as several non-overlapping solutions are possible. We aim at recovering the
underlying log(age) distribution from the measured log(age) probability density
function for an arbitrary set of stars. We build an age inversion method,
namely, we represent the measured log(age) probability density function as a
weighted sum of probability density functions of mono-age populations. Weights
in that sum give the underlying log(age) distribution. Mono-age populations are
simulated so that the distribution of stars on the log g-[Fe/H] plane is close
to that of the observed sample. We tested the age inversion method on simulated
data, demonstrating that it is capable of properly recovering the true log(age)
distribution for a large (N > 103) sample of stars. The method was further
applied to large public spectroscopic surveys. For RAVE-on, LAMOST and APOGEE
we also applied age inversion to mono-metallicity samples, successfully
recovering age-metallicity trends present in higher-precision APOGEE data and
chemical evolution models. We conclude that applying an age inversion method as
presented in this work is necessary to recover the underlying age distribution
of a large (N > 103 ) set of stars. These age distributions can be used to
explore for instance age-metallicity relations.

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