Giacomo Monari, Daisuke Kawata, Jason A. S. Hunt, Benoit Famaey; Tracing the Hercules stream with Gaia and LAMOST: new evidence for a fast bar in the Milky Way. Mon Not R Astron Soc Lett 2017; 466 (1): L113-L117. doi: 10.1093/mnrasl/slw238
The length and pattern speed of the Milky Way bar are still controversial. Photometric and spectroscopic surveys of the inner Galaxy, as well as gas kinematics, favour a long and slowly rotating bar, with corotation around a Galactocentric radius of 6 kpc. On the other hand, the existence of the Hercules stream in local velocity space favours a short and fast bar with corotation around 4 kpc. This follows from the fact that the Hercules stream looks like a typical signature of the outer Lindblad resonance of the bar. As we showed recently, reconciling this local stream with a slow bar would need to find a yet unknown alternative explanation, based, for instance, on the effect of spiral arms. Here, by combining the TGAS catalogue of the Gaia DR1 with LAMOST radial velocities, we show that the position of Hercules in velocity space as a function of radius in the outer Galaxy indeed varies exactly as predicted by fast bar models with a pattern speed no less than 1.8 times the circular frequency at the Sun's position.