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Astron. Astrophys. 363, 947-957 (2000)

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1. Introduction

The G dwarf problem is one of the more persistent problems in Galactic astronomy. The problem is the discrepancy between the prediction of the simple model for the evolution of the solar neighbourhood and observations. Basically the simple model for galactic chemical evolution predicts too many low metallicity stars among the long lived stars. It was first examined by van den Bergh (1962) and Schmidt (1963).

Many theoretical models have been created to explain the G dwarf problem (e.g. Larson 1972; Lynden-Bell 1975; Clayton 1985; Pagel 1989; Truran & Cameron 1971 and Pagel & Tautvaisiene 1995). Most of these models fit the present observations fairly well.

Unfortunately the observations are not of sufficient quality to discriminate between these models. The problem has, in general, been to remove biases from the sample. e.g. kinematical bias, or bias resulting from the problem of isolating long-lived stars.

In this paper an investigation of a large volume limited sample of F and G dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood is presented. The sample is subjected to several tests to ensure that it is as pure as possible. The metallicity distribution of a final mass limited sample is then compared with several other observational and theoretical distributions.

This paper is organized as follows: In Sect. 2 the sample used is briefly described. In Sect. 3 the steps taken to make the sample as clean as possible is described. In Sect. 4 the corrections applied to the sample is described. In Sect. 5 the resulting G dwarf distribution is discussed. In Sect. 6 it is compared with observational and theoretical distributions. Finally in Sect. 7 the conclusions that can be drawn from this investigation are presented.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: December 5, 2000