"On the formation mechanism of the Galactic thick disk"

by Laura Sales

Abstract: We compare the orbital properties of stars in four (published) simulations of thick disks formed by: i) accretion from disrupted satellites, ii) heating of a pre-existing thin disk by a minor merger, iii) radial migration and iv) gas rich mergers. We analyze the kinematics of local stars obtained for the solar neighbourhood in each model, finding characteristic imprints for each scenario. Based on these simulations we conclude that simple tests based on the orbits of local stars could shed some light on the formation path of the thick disk of our own Galaxy.