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Better galactic mass models through chemistry

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With the upcoming release of the Gaia catalog and the many multiplexed spectroscopic surveys on the horizon, we are rapidly moving into a new data-driven era in the study of the Milky Way's stellar halo. When combined, these data sets will give us a many-dimensional view of stars in accreted structures in the halo that includes both dynamical information about their orbits and chemical information about their formation histories. Using simulated data from the state-of-the-art Latte simulations of Milky-Way-like galaxies, which include hydrodynamics, feedback, and chemical evolution in a cosmological setting, we demonstrate that while dynamical information alone can be used to constrain models of the Galactic mass distribution in the halo, including the extra dimensions provided by chemical abundances can improve these constraints as well as assist in untangling different accreted components.

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