Support for the Radial Velocity Experiment

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics


Since April 2003 an ambitious survey of the Milky Way has been gathering pace at Siding Spring. Initially the survey used only bright time on the UK Schmidt, but now it has exclusive use of the Schmidt and the 6dF instrument, so its rate of taking spectra has increased to ~140,000 per year. The plan is to obtain spectra for ~million stars, including nearly all accessible stars the ACT-reference catalogue, which has accurate proper motions and space-based photometry for about a million stars. The spectra yield radial velocities accurate to better than 2km/s, estimates of [Fe/H] and [alpha/H], and also good photometric distances. Hence programme stars can be assigned to populations and given all six phase-space coordinates. These data will enable us to carry out a large part of the core science programme of the GAIA mission up to a decade before the GAIA catalogue comes out. Although several UK astronomers are founder members of this survey, PPARC has yet to contribute to its cost. This proposal is for a contribution of order 20% to the costs over 2006 - 2008.


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Piffl T (2015) Bringing the Galaxy's dark halo to life in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Monari G (2018) Distribution functions for resonantly trapped orbits in our Galaxy in Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union

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McMillan P (2009) The dangers of deprojection of proper motions in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

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Lau J (2019) Relaxation of spherical stellar systems in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Kunder A. (2017) VizieR Online Data Catalog: RAVE 5th data release (Kunder+, 2017) in VizieR Online Data Catalog

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Description Galactic fountains and gas accretion 
Organisation University of Bologna
Department Department of Physics and Astronomy
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise in dynamical modelling and in the theory of the intergalactic medium
Collaborator Contribution Fellowships to suport work in Oxford by colleagues from Bologna and through this participation in several publications (only 1 of these appeared after the grant start date and a further one has been submitted & is under review)
Impact Several well-cited papers
Description The RAVE consortium 
Organisation The RAVE consortium
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise in modelling the Galaxy
Collaborator Contribution The consortium is an international collaboration involving ~40 institutes worldwide. As a result of this grant several consortium members from outside the UK have spent time in Oxford
Impact Many research papers
Start Year 2006