Distance determination for RAVE stars using stellar models: II. Most likely values assuming a standard stellar evolution scenario

T. Zwitter*, G. Matijevic, M. A. Breddels, M. C. Smith, A. Helmi, U. Munari, O. Bienayme, J. Binney, J. Bland-Hawthorn, C. Boeche, A. G. A. Brown, R. Campbell, K. C. Freeman, J. Fulbright, B. Gibson, G. Gilmore, E. K. Grebel, J. F. Navarro, Q. A. Parker, G. M. SeabrokeA. Siebert, A. Siviero, M. Steinmetz, F. G. Watson, M. Williams, R. F. G. Wyse

*Corresponding author for this work

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The RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) is a spectroscopic survey of the Milky Way which already collected over 400 000 spectra of similar to 330 000 different stars. We use the subsample of spectra with spectroscopically determined values of stellar parameters to determine the distances to these stars. The list currently contains 235 064 high quality spectra which show no peculiarities and belong to 210 872 different stars. The numbers will grow as the RAVE survey progresses. The public version of the catalog will be made available through the CDS services along with the ongoing RAVE public data releases.

The distances are determined with a method based on the work by Breddels et al. (2010, A&A, 511, A16). Here we assume that the star undergoes a standard stellar evolution and that its spectrum shows no peculiarities. The refinements include: the use of either of the three isochrone sets, a better account of the stellar ages and masses, use of more realistic errors of stellar parameter values, and application to a larger dataset. The derived distances of both dwarfs and giants match within similar to 21% to the astrometric distances of Hipparcos stars and to the distances of observed members of open and globular clusters. Multiple observations of a fraction of RAVE stars show that repeatability of the derived distances is even better, with half of the objects showing a distance scatter of less than or similar to 11%. RAVE dwarfs are similar to 300 pc from the Sun, and giants are at distances of 1 to 2 kpc, and up to 10 kpc. This places the RAVE dataset between the more local Geneva-Copenhagen survey and the more distant and fainter SDSS sample. As such it is ideal to address some of the fundamental questions of Galactic structure and evolution in the pre-Gaia era. Individual applications are left to separate papers, here we show that the full 6-dimensional information on position and velocity is accurate enough to discuss the vertical structure and kinematic properties of the thin and thick disks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Number of pages15
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2010


  • stars: distances
  • catalogs
  • surveys
  • Galaxy: structure
  • Galaxy: stellar content
  • stars: statistics
  • Distance determination for RAVE stars. II.

    Zwitter, T. (Contributor), Matijevič, G. (Contributor), Breddels, M. (Contributor), Smith, M. (Contributor), Helmi, A. (Contributor), Munari, U. (Contributor), Bienaymé, O. (Contributor), Binney, J. (Contributor), Bland-Hawthorn, J. (Contributor), Boeche, C. (Contributor), Brown, A. G. A. (Contributor), Campbell, R. (Contributor), Freeman, K. C. (Contributor), Fulbright, J. (Contributor), Gibson, B. (Contributor), Gilmore, G. (Contributor), Grebel, E. K. (Contributor), Navarro, J. F. (Contributor), Parker, Q. A. (Contributor), Seabroke, G. M. (Contributor), Siebert, A. (Contributor), Siviero, A. (Contributor), Steinmetz, M. (Contributor), Watson, F. G. (Contributor), Williams, M. (Contributor) & Wyse, R. F. G. (Contributor), University of Groningen, 18-Nov-2010


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