Astronomers from the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) Collaboration have released a database of spectra and connected basic stellar parameters for 451,783 one of a kind Milky Way stars.
RAVE observed a total of 451,783 Milky Way stars. The Sun is situated at the center of the coordinate method. The colors represent radial velocities: red are receding stars and stars depicted in blue are approaching. Image credit: Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam / K. Riebe / RAVE Collaboration / R. Hurt, SSC / NASA / JPL-Caltech.
RAVE is a magnitude-restricted spectroscopic survey of Milky Way stars randomly chosen in Earth’s southern hemisphere.
The observations have been performed at the 1.23-m UK Schmidt telescope (UKST) at the Anglo-Australian Observatory employing a multi-object spectrograph.
RAVE made use of a devoted fiber-optical setup to simultaneously take spectra of up to 150 stars in a single observation.
“By means of spectroscopy, the light of a star is decomposed into its rainbow colors,” stated Dr. Matthias Steinmetz, leader of the RAVE Collaboration and an astronomer at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, and his colleagues.
“By analyzing the spectra, the radial velocity of a star — its movement in the direction of the observer’s view, can be determined.”
“Furthermore, stellar spectra also enable us to determine stellar parameters like temperatures, surface gravities, and composition.”
In order to trace the structure and shape of our Milky Way Galaxy, the astronomers effectively obtained 518,387 spectra for 451,783 stars.
The stars have been also matched with stars from the second information release of ESA’s Gaia mission.
“The RAVE data releases provided new insights into the motion of stars and chemical structure of our Milky Way,” Dr. Steinmetz stated.
“The final data release concludes one of the first systematic spectroscopic Galactic Archaeology surveys.”
“It’s really exciting to think about finishing this 15-year project.”
“Thanks to RAVE, we gained new insights into the structure and composition of our Milky Way.”
Alongside its database, the RAVE group also published two scientific papers in the Astronomical Journal.
Matthias Steinmetz et al. 2020. The Sixth Data Release of the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE). I. Survey Description, Spectra, and Radial Velocities. AJ 160, 82 doi: 10.3847/1538-3881/ab9ab9
Matthias Steinmetz et al. 2020. The Sixth Data Release of the Radial Velocity Experiment (Rave). II. Stellar Atmospheric Parameters, Chemical Abundances, and Distances. AJ 160, 83 doi: 10.3847/1538-3881/ab9ab8