skip to main content

Title: Exploring the S-process History in the Galactic Disk: Cerium Abundances and Gradients in Open Clusters from the OCCAM/APOGEE Sample
Abstract The APOGEE Open Cluster Chemical Abundances and Mapping survey is used to probe the chemical evolution of the s-process element cerium in the Galactic disk. Cerium abundances were derived from measurements of Ce ii lines in the APOGEE spectra using the Brussels Automatic Code for Characterizing High Accuracy Spectra in 218 stars belonging to 42 open clusters. Our results indicate that, in general, for ages < 4 Gyr, younger open clusters have higher [Ce/Fe] and [Ce/ α -element] ratios than older clusters. In addition, metallicity segregates open clusters in the [Ce/X]–age plane (where X can be H, Fe, or the α -elements O, Mg, Si, or Ca). These metallicity-dependent relations result in [Ce/Fe] and [Ce/ α ] ratios with ages that are not universal clocks. Radial gradients of [Ce/H] and [Ce/Fe] ratios in open clusters, binned by age, were derived for the first time, with d [Ce/H]/ d R GC being negative, while d [Ce/Fe]/ d R GC is positive. [Ce/H] and [Ce/Fe] gradients are approximately constant over time, with the [Ce/Fe] gradient becoming slightly steeper, changing by ∼+0.009 dex kpc −1 Gyr −1 . Both the [Ce/H] and [Ce/Fe] gradients are shifted to lower values of [Ce/H] and [Ce/Fe] for older open clusters. The chemical pattern of Ce in open clusters across the Galactic disk is discussed within the context of s-process yields from asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, gigayear time delays in Ce enrichment of the interstellar medium, and the strong dependence of Ce nucleosynthesis on the metallicity of its AGB stellar sources.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1715662 1311835
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; « less
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this

    This study presents the results concerning six red giant stars members of the globular cluster NGC 6558. Our analysis utilized high-resolution near-infrared spectra obtained through the CAPOS initiative (the APOgee Survey of Clusters in the Galactic Bulge), which focuses on surveying clusters within the Galactic Bulge, as a component of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment II survey (APOGEE-2). We employ the Brussels Automatic Code for Characterizing High accUracy Spectra (BACCHUS) code to provide line-by-line elemental-abundances for Fe-peak (Fe, Ni), α-(O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti), light-(C, N), odd-Z (Al), and the s-process element (Ce) for the four stars with high-signal-to-noise ratios. This is the first reliable measure of the CNO abundances for NGC 6558. Our analysis yields a mean metallicity for NGC 6558 of 〈[Fe/H]〉 = −1.15 ± 0.08, with no evidence for a metallicity spread. We find a Solar Ni abundance, 〈[Ni/Fe]〉 ∼ +0.01, and a moderate enhancement of α-elements, ranging between +0.16 and <+0.42, and a slight enhancement of the s-process element 〈[Ce/Fe]〉 ∼ +0.19. We also found low levels of 〈[Al/Fe]〉 ∼ +0.09, but with a strong enrichment of nitrogen, [N/Fe] > +0.99, along with a low level of carbon, [C/Fe] < −0.12. This behaviour of Nitrogen-Carbon is a typical chemical signature for the presence of multiple stellar populations in virtually all GCs; this is the first time that it is reported in NGC 6558. We also observed a remarkable consistency in the behaviour of all the chemical species compared to the other CAPOS bulge GCs of the same metallicity.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The goal of the Open Cluster Chemical Abundances and Mapping (OCCAM) survey is to constrain key Galactic dynamic and chemical evolution parameters by the construction and analysis of a large, comprehensive, uniform data set of infrared spectra for stars in hundreds of open clusters. This sixth contribution from the OCCAM survey presents analysis of SDSS/APOGEE Data Release 17 (DR17) results for a sample of stars in 150 open clusters, 94 of which we designate to be “high-quality” based on the appearance of their color–magnitude diagram. We find the APOGEE DR17-derived [Fe/H] values to be in good agreement with those from previous high-resolution spectroscopic open cluster abundance studies. Using a subset of the high-quality sample, the Galactic abundance gradients were measured for 16 chemical elements, including [Fe/H], for both Galactocentric radius (RGC) and guiding center radius (Rguide). We find an overall Galactic [Fe/H] versusRGCgradient of −0.073 ± 0.002 dex kpc−1over the range of 6 >RGC< 11.5 kpc, and a similar gradient is found for [Fe/H] versusRguide. Significant Galactic abundance gradients are also noted for O, Mg, S, Ca, Mn, Na, Al, K, and Ce. Our large sample additionally allows us to explore the evolution of the gradients in four age bins for the remaining 15 elements.

    more » « less

    Previous results in the literature have found the young inner-disc open cluster NGC 6705 to be mildly α-enhanced. We examined this possibility via an independent chemical abundance analysis for 11 red-giant members of NGC 6705. The analysis is based on near-infrared APOGEE spectra and relies on LTE calculations using spherical model atmospheres and radiative transfer. We find a mean cluster metallicity of $\rm [Fe/H] = +0.13 \pm 0.04$, indicating that NGC 6705 is metal-rich, as may be expected for a young inner-disc cluster. The mean α-element abundance relative to iron is $\rm \langle [\alpha /Fe]\rangle =-0.03 \pm 0.05$, which is not at odds with expectations from general Galactic abundance trends. NGC 6705 also provides important probes for studying stellar mixing, given its turn-off mass of M ∼ 3.3 M⊙. Its red giants have low 12C abundances ([12C/Fe] = −0.16) and enhanced 14N abundances ([14N/Fe] = +0.51), which are key signatures of the first dredge-up on the red giant branch. An additional signature of dredge-up was found in the Na abundances, which are enhanced by [Na/Fe] = +0.29, with a very small non-LTE correction. The 16O and Al abundances are found to be near-solar. All of the derived mixing-sensitive abundances are in agreement with stellar models of approximately 3.3 M⊙ evolving along the red giant branch and onto the red clump. As found in young open clusters with similar metallicities, NGC 6705 exhibits a mild excess in the s-process element cerium with $\rm [Ce/Fe] = +0.13\pm 0.07$.

    more » « less

    We present a detailed near-infrared chemical abundance analysis of 10 red giant members of the Galactic open cluster NGC 752. High-resolution (R ≃ 45000) near-infrared spectral data were gathered with the Immersion Grating Infrared Spectrograph, providing simultaneous coverage of the complete H and K bands. We derived the abundances of H-burning (C, N, O), α (Mg, Si, S, Ca), light odd-Z (Na, Al, P, K), Fe-group (Sc, Ti, Cr, Fe, Co, Ni), and neutron-capture (Ce, Nd, Yb) elements. We report the abundances of S, P, K, Ce, and Yb in NGC 752 for the first time. Our analysis yields solar-metallicity and solar abundance ratios for almost all of the elements heavier than the CNO group in NGC 752. O and N abundances were measured from a number of OH and CN features in the H band, and C abundances were determined mainly from CO molecular lines in the K band. High-excitation $\rm{C\,\small {I}}$ lines present in both near-infrared and optical spectra were also included in the C abundance determinations. Carbon isotopic ratios were derived from the R-branch band heads of first overtone (2−0) and (3−1) 12CO and (2−0) 13CO lines near 23 440 Å and (3−1) 13CO lines at about 23 730 Å. The CNO abundances and 12C/13C ratios are all consistent with our giants having completed ‘first dredge-up’ envelope mixing of CN-cyle products. We independently assessed NGC 752 stellar membership from Gaia astrometry, leading to a new colour–magnitude diagram for this cluster. Applications of Victoria isochrones and MESA models to these data yield an updated NGC 752 cluster age (1.52 Gyr) and evolutionary stage indications for the programme stars. The photometric evidence and spectroscopic light element abundances all suggest that the most, perhaps all of the programme stars are members of the helium-burning red clump in this cluster.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract The SDSS-IV Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey has obtained high-resolution spectra for thousands of red giant stars distributed among the massive satellite galaxies of the Milky Way (MW): the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC/SMC), the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy (Sgr), Fornax (Fnx), and the now fully disrupted Gaia Sausage/Enceladus (GSE) system. We present and analyze the APOGEE chemical abundance patterns of each galaxy to draw robust conclusions about their star formation histories, by quantifying the relative abundance trends of multiple elements (C, N, O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Fe, Ni, and Ce), as well as by fitting chemical evolution models to the [ α /Fe]–[Fe/H] abundance plane for each galaxy. Results show that the chemical signatures of the starburst in the Magellanic Clouds (MCs) observed by Nidever et al. in the α -element abundances extend to C+N, Al, and Ni, with the major burst in the SMC occurring some 3–4 Gyr before the burst in the LMC. We find that Sgr and Fnx also exhibit chemical abundance patterns suggestive of secondary star formation epochs, but these events were weaker and earlier (∼5–7 Gyr ago) than those observed in the MCs. There is no chemical evidence of a second starburst in GSE, but this galaxy shows the strongest initial star formation as compared to the other four galaxies. All dwarf galaxies had greater relative contributions of AGB stars to their enrichment than the MW. Comparing and contrasting these chemical patterns highlight the importance of galaxy environment on its chemical evolution. 
    more » « less