Milky Way's Old Populations Based on OGLE RR Lyrae Stars

We have used photometric data on almost 91 000 fundamental-mode RR Lyrae stars (type RRab) detected by the OGLE survey to investigate properties of old populations in the Milky Way. The figure below presents a map of Galactic RRab stars from OGLE.

Based on metallicity distributions, we demonstrate that the Galaxy is built from three distinct old components: halo, bulge, and disk. The distributions reach their maxima at approximately [Fe/H]_J95 = -1.2 dex, -1.0 dex, and -0.6 dex on the Jurcsik's metallicity scale, respectively.

We find that, very likely, the entire halo is formed from infalling dwarf galaxies. It is evident that halo stars penetrate the inner regions of the Galactic bulge. We estimate that about one-third of all RR Lyr stars within the bulge area belong in fact to the halo population. The whole old bulge is dominated by two populations, A and B, represented by a double sequence in the period-amplitude (Bailey) diagram. The boundary in iron abundance between the halo and the disk population is at about [Fe/H]_J95 = -0.8 dex.

Using Gaia DR2 for RRab stars in the disk area, we show that the observed dispersion of proper motions along the Galactic latitude decreases smoothly with the increasing metal content excluding a bump around [Fe/H]_J95 = -1.0 dex.

PLEASE cite the following paper when refering to these results: Pietrukowicz et al., 2020, arXiv:2007.05849.