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Title: YOUNG STARS IN AN OLD BULGE: A NATURAL OUTCOME OF INTERNAL EVOLUTION IN THE MILKY WAY

The center of our disk galaxy, the Milky Way, is dominated by a boxy/peanut-shaped bulge. Numerous studies of the bulge based on stellar photometry have concluded that the bulge stars are exclusively old. The perceived lack of young stars in the bulge strongly constrains its likely formation scenarios, providing evidence that the bulge is a unique population that formed early and separately from the disk. However, recent studies of individual bulge stars using the microlensing technique have reported that they span a range of ages, emphasizing that the bulge may not be a monolithic structure. In this Letter we demonstrate that the presence of young stars that are located predominantly nearer to the plane is expected for a bulge that has formed from the disk via dynamical instabilities. Using an N-body+ smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulation of a disk galaxy forming out of gas cooling inside a dark matter halo and forming stars, we find a qualitative agreement between our model and the observations of younger metal-rich stars in the bulge. We are also able to partially resolve the apparent contradiction in the literature between results that argue for a purely old bulge population and those that show a population comprisedmore » of a range in ages; the key is where to look.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  2. Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE (United Kingdom)
  3. Lund Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics, Box 43, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden)
  4. Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Zürich, Wintherthurerstrasse 190, Zürich CH-8057 (Switzerland)
  5. Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)
  6. Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Cotter Road, Weston Creek, ACT 2611 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365828
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 787; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; GAS COOLING; HYDRODYNAMICS; METALS; MILKY WAY; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; PHOTOMETRY; STAR EVOLUTION; STAR MODELS; STARS