skip to main content

Title: An analysis of four stellar rings

About 50 years ago, one thousand ring‐like structures (called stellar‐rings) were discovered by Isserstedt (1968). They were believed to be groups of young stars formed by shell‐like triggered star formation, which would make them excellent tracers of spiral arms, for example. Neglected for 40 years, we used highly accurate kinematic, astrometric, and photometric data to investigate the four most prominent stellar rings. The aim is to investigate if those structures are indeed physically related groups of stars. We used proper motions and parallaxes from the Gaia DR2 to calculate distances and to search for common properties. Color‐magnitude diagrams using BVJHKsmeasurements were investigated and isochrones fitted. None of the four stellar rings consists of a physically related group of young stars. The location of stars in the line‐of‐sight mimics a ring‐like structure on the sky. The color‐magnitude diagrams are typical for an integrated field population and not for a young star cluster, for example. The currently available data are sufficient to analyze ring‐like structures with a high statistical significance. This allows a new search for such structures in the Milky Way.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Astronomische Nachrichten
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 672-679
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    We report the discovery of Pavo, a faint (MV= −10.0), star-forming, irregular, and extremely isolated dwarf galaxy atD≈ 2 Mpc. Pavo was identified in Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey imaging via a novel approach that combines low surface brightness galaxy search algorithms and machine-learning candidate classifications. Follow-up imaging with the Inamori-Magellan Areal Camera and Spectrograph on the 6.5 m Magellan Baade telescope revealed a color–magnitude diagram (CMD) with an old stellar population, in addition to the young population that dominates the integrated light, and a tip of the red giant branch distance estimate of1.990.22+0.20Mpc. The blue population of stars in the CMD is consistent with the youngest stars having formed no later than 150 Myr ago. We also detected no Hαemission with SOAR telescope imaging, suggesting that we may be witnessing a temporary low in Pavo’s star formation. We estimate the total stellar mass of Pavo to belogM*/M=5.6±0.2and measure an upper limit on its Higas mass of 1.0 × 106Mbased on the HIPASS survey. Given these properties, Pavo’s closest analog is Leo P (D= 1.6 Mpc), previously the only known isolated, star-forming, Local Volume dwarf galaxy in this mass range. However, Pavo appears to be even more isolated, with no other known galaxy residing within over 600 kpc. As surveys and search techniques continue to improve, we anticipate an entire population of analogous objects being detected just outside the Local Group.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract Stellar streams from globular clusters (GCs) offer constraints on the nature of dark matter and have been used to explore the dark matter halo structure and substructure of our Galaxy. Detection of GC streams in other galaxies would broaden this endeavor to a cosmological context, yet no such streams have been detected to date. To enable such exploration, we develop the Hough Stream Spotter ( HSS ), and apply it to the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS) photometric data of resolved stars in M31's stellar halo. We first demonstrate that our code can re-discover known dwarf streams in M31. We then use the HSS to blindly identify 27 linear GC stream-like structures in the PAndAS data. For each HSS GC stream candidate, we investigate the morphologies of the streams and the colors and magnitudes of all stars in the candidate streams. We find that the five most significant detections show a stronger signal along the red giant branch in color–magnitude diagrams than spurious non-stream detections. Lastly, we demonstrate that the HSS will easily detect globular cluster streams in future Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope data of nearby galaxies. This has the potential to open up a new discovery space for GC stream studies, GC stream gap searches, and for GC stream-based constraints on the nature of dark matter. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    Context. Young open clusters (ages of less than 200 Myr) have been observed to exhibit several peculiarities in their chemical compositions. These anomalies include a slightly sub-solar iron content, super-solar abundances of some atomic species (e.g. ionised chromium), and atypical enhancements of [Ba/Fe], with values up to ~0.7 dex. Regarding the behaviour of the other s -process elements like yttrium, zirconium, lanthanum, and cerium, there is general disagreement in the literature: some authors claim that they follow the same trend as barium, while others find solar abundances at all ages. Aims. In this work we expand upon our previous analysis of a sample of five young open clusters (IC 2391, IC 2602, IC 4665, NGC 2516, and NGC 2547) and one star-forming region (NGC 2264), with the aim of determining abundances of different neutron-capture elements, mainly Cu  I , Sr  I , Sr  II , Y  II , Zr  II , Ba  II , La  II , and Ce  II . For NGC 2264 and NGC 2547 we present the measurements of these elements for the first time. Methods. We analysed high-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectra of 23 solar-type stars observed within the Gaia -ESO survey. After a careful selection, we derived abundances of isolated and clean lines via spectral synthesis computations and in a strictly differential way with respect to the Sun. Results. We find that our clusters have solar [Cu/Fe] within the uncertainties, while we confirm that [Ba/Fe] is super-solar, with values ranging from +0.22 to +0.64 dex. Our analysis also points to a mild enhancement of Y, with [Y/Fe] ratios covering values between 0 and +0.3 dex. For the other s -process elements we find that [X/Fe] ratios are solar at all ages. Conclusions. It is not possible to reconcile the anomalous behaviour of Ba and Y at young ages with standard stellar yields and Galactic chemical evolution model predictions. We explore different possible scenarios related to the behaviour of spectral lines, from the dependence on the different ionisation stages and the sensitivity to the presence of magnetic fields (through the Landé factor) to the first ionisation potential effect. We also investigate the possibility that they may arise from alterations of the structure of the stellar photosphere due to the increased levels of stellar activity that affect the spectral line formation, and consequently the derived abundances. These effects seem to be stronger in stars at ages of less than ~ 100 Myr. However, we are still unable to explain these enhancements, and the Ba puzzle remains unsolved. With the present study we suggest that other elements, for example Sr, Zr, La, and Ce, might be more reliable tracer of the s -process at young ages, and we strongly encourage further critical observations. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We report the discovery and characterization of a nearby (∼85 pc), older (27 ± 3 Myr), distributed stellar population near Lower Centaurus Crux (LCC), initially identified by searching for stars comoving with a candidate transiting planet from TESS (HD 109833; TOI 1097). We determine the association membership using Gaia kinematics, color–magnitude information, and rotation periods of candidate members. We measure its age using isochrones, gyrochronology, and Li depletion. While the association is near known populations of LCC, we find that it is older than any previously found LCC subgroup (10–16 Myr), and distinct in both position and velocity. In addition to the candidate planets around HD 109833, the association contains four directly imaged planetary-mass companions around three stars, YSES-1, YSES-2, and HD 95086, all of which were previously assigned membership in the younger LCC. Using the Notch pipeline, we identify a second candidate transiting planet around HD 109833. We use a suite of ground-based follow-up observations to validate the two transit signals as planetary in nature. HD 109833 b and c join the small but growing population of <100 Myr transiting planets from TESS. HD 109833 has a rotation period and Li abundance indicative of a young age (≲100 Myr), but a position and velocity on the outskirts of the new population, lower Li levels than similar members, and a color–magnitude diagram position below model predictions for 27 Myr. So, we cannot reject the possibility that HD 109833 is a young field star coincidentally nearby the population.

    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    Chromospheric Ca II activity cycles are frequently found in late-type stars, but no systematic programs have been created to search for their coronal X-ray counterparts. The typical time scale of Ca II activity cycles ranges from years to decades. Therefore, long-lasting missions are needed to detect the coronal counterparts. The XMM-Newton satellite has so far detected X-ray cycles in five stars. A particularly intriguing question is at what age (and at what activity level) X-ray cycles set in. To this end, in 2015 we started the X-ray monitoring of the young solar-like star ɛ Eridani, previously observed on two occasions: in 2003 and in early 2015, both by XMM-Newton . With an age of 440 Myr, it is one of the youngest solar-like stars with a known chromospheric Ca II cycle. We collected the most recent Mount Wilson S-index data available for ɛ Eridani, starting from 2002, including previously unpublished data. We found that the Ca II cycle lasts 2.92 ± 0.02 yr, in agreement with past results. From the long-term XMM-Newton lightcurve, we find clear and systematic X-ray variability of our target, consistent with the chromospheric Ca II cycle. The average X-ray luminosity is 2 × 10 28 erg s −1 , with an amplitude that is only a factor of 2 throughout the cycle. We apply a new method to describe the evolution of the coronal emission measure distribution of ɛ Eridani in terms of solar magnetic structures: active regions, cores of active regions, and flares covering the stellar surface at varying filling fractions. Combinations of these three types of magnetic structures can only describe the observed X-ray emission measure of ɛ Eridani if the solar flare emission measure distribution is restricted to events in the decay phase. The interpretation is that flares in the corona of ɛ Eridani last longer than their solar counterparts. We ascribe this to the lower metallicity of ɛ Eridani. Our analysis also revealed that the X-ray cycle of ɛ Eridani is strongly dominated by cores of active regions. The coverage fraction of cores throughout the cycle changes by the same factor as the X-ray luminosity. The maxima of the cycle are characterized by a high percentage of covering fraction of the flares, consistent with the fact that flaring events are seen in the corresponding short-term X-ray lightcurves predominately at the cycle maxima. The high X-ray emission throughout the cycle of ɛ Eridani is thus explained by the high percentage of magnetic structures on its surface. 
    more » « less