Galactic Archaeology and Minimum Spanning Trees

macfarlane, B.A., Gibson, Bradley Kenneth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4446-3130 and Flynn, C.M.L. (2015) Galactic Archaeology and Minimum Spanning Trees. In: Multi-Object Spectroscopy in the Next Decade: Big Questions, Large Surveys, and Wide Fields, 2–6 March 2015, Teatro Circo de Marte, Santa Cruz de La Palma Canary Islands, Spain.

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Chemical tagging of stellar debris from disrupted open clusters and associations underpins the science cases for next-generation multi-object spectroscopic surveys. As part of the Galactic Archaeology project TraCD (Tracking Cluster Debris), a preliminary attempt at reconstructing the birth clouds of now phase-mixed thin disk debris is undertaken using a parametric minimum spanning tree (MST) approach. Empirically-motivated chemical abundance pattern uncertainties (for a 10-dimensional chemistry-space) are applied to NBODY6-realised stellar associations dissolved into a background sea of field stars, all evolving in a Milky Way potential. We demonstrate that significant population reconstruction degeneracies appear when the abundance uncertainties approach 0.1 dex and the parameterised MST approach is employed; more sophisticated methodologies will be required to ameliorate these degeneracies.

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