Exploring the ex-situ components within Gaia DR3

Li, Zhuohan, Zhao, Gang, Zhang, Ruizhi, Xue, Xiang-Xiang, Chen, Yuqin and Amarante, João A S (2023) Exploring the ex-situ components within Gaia DR3. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society . ISSN 0035-8711

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stad3817


The presence of Gaia DR3 provides a large sample of stars with complete 6D information, offering a fertile ground for the exploration of stellar objects that were accreted to the Milky Way through ancient merger events. In this study, we developed a deep learning methodology to identify ex-situ stars within the Gaia DR3 catalogue. After two phases of training, our neural network (NN) model was capable of performing binary classification of stars based on input data consisting of 3D position and velocity, as well as actions. From the target sample of 27 085 748 stars, our NN model managed to identify 160 146 ex-situ stars. The metallicity distribution suggests that this ex-situ sample comprises multiple components but appears to be predominated by the Gaia-Sausage-Enceladus. We identified member stars of the Magellanic Clouds, Sagittarius, and 20 globular clusters throughout our examination. Furthermore, an extensive group of member stars from Gaia-Sausage-Enceladus, Thamnos, Sequoia, Helmi streams, Wukong, and Pontus were meticulously selected, constituting an ideal sample for the comprehensive study of substructures. Finally, we conducted a preliminary estimation to determine the proportions of ex-situ stars in the thin disc, thick disc, and halo, which resulted in percentages of 0.1%, 1.6%, and 63.2%, respectively. As the vertical height from the Galactic disc and distance from the Galactic centre increased, there was a corresponding upward trend in the ex-situ fraction of the target sample.

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