Institute of Astronomy

Orbital Torus Imaging: Using elemental abundances to map orbital structure and mass in the Galactic disc

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Daniel Horta Darrington (CCA, New York)17 May 2023Institute of Astronomy Seminars


Under the assumption of a simple and time invariant potential, many Galactic dynamics techniques use tools (e.g., Jeans or Schwartzchild models) to infer the Milky Way’s potential from stellar kinematic observations. Albeit useful, these methods rely heavily on parameterised potential models of the Galaxy and must take into account non-trivial selection function effects. However, large-scale spectroscopic surveys now supply information beyond kinematics in the form of precise stellar label measurements (e.g., elemental abundances). In this talk, I will present a new framework that uses kinematic and element abundance measurements for dynamical inference: Orbital Torus Imaging. This method is advantageous as it is much less affected by selection function effects and does not require parameterisation of a potential model. Using this framework, I will present preliminary results utilising the latest APOGEE and Gaia data on mapping the orbital structure and mass of the Galactic disc using chemical abundance information. These early findings reveal the power of Orbital Torus Imaging, and highlight a promising new avenue for dynamical inference that synergises stellar labels and kinematic observations delivered by large scale stellar surveys of the Galaxy.


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