skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: r-process Abundance Patterns in the Globular Cluster M92
Abstract

Whereas light-element abundance variations are a hallmark of globular clusters, there is little evidence for variations in neutron-capture elements. A significant exception is M15, which shows a star-to-star dispersion in neutron-capture abundances of at least one order of magnitude. The literature contains evidence both for and against a neutron-capture dispersion in M92. We conducted an analysis of archival Keck/HIRES spectra of 35 stars in M92, 29 of which are giants, which we use exclusively for our conclusions. M92 conforms to the abundance variations typical of massive clusters. Like other globular clusters, its neutron-capture abundances were generated by ther-process. We confirm a star-to-star dispersion inr-process abundances. Unlike M15, the dispersion is limited to “first-generation” (low-Na, high-Mg) stars, and the dispersion is smaller for Sr, Y, and Zr than for Ba and the lanthanides. This is the first detection of a relation between light-element and neutron-capture abundances in a globular cluster. We propose that a source of the mainr-process polluted the cluster shortly before or concurrently with the first generation of star formation. The heavierr-process abundances were inhomogeneously distributed while the first-generation stars were forming. The second-generation stars formed after several crossing times (∼0.8 Myr); hence, the second generation shows nor-process dispersion. This scenario imposes a minimum temporal separation of 0.8 Myr between the first and second generations.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10473568
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
958
Issue:
1
ISSN:
0004-637X
Format(s):
Medium: X Size: Article No. 45
Size(s):
["Article No. 45"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    M15 is a globular cluster with a known spread in neutron-capture elements. This paper presents abundances of neutron-capture elements for 62 stars in M15. Spectra were obtained with the Michigan/Magellan Fiber System spectrograph, covering a wavelength range from ∼4430 to 4630 Å. Spectral lines from Fei, Feii, Sri, Zrii, Baii, Laii, Ceii, Ndii, Smii, Euii, and Dyii were measured, enabling classifications and neutron-capture abundance patterns for the stars. Of the 62 targets, 44 are found to be highly Eu-enhancedr-II stars, another 17 are moderately Eu-enhancedr-I stars, and one star is found to have ans-process signature. The neutron-capture patterns indicate that the majority of the stars are consistent with enrichment by ther-process. The 62 target stars are found to show significant star-to-star spreads in Sr, Zr, Ba, La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, and Dy, but no significant spread in Fe. The neutron-capture abundances are further found to have slight correlations with sodium abundances from the literature, unlike what has been previously found; follow-up studies are needed to verify this result. The findings in this paper suggest that the Eu-enhanced stars in M15 were enhanced by the same process, that the nucleosynthetic source of this Eu pollution was ther-process, and that ther-process source occurred as the first generation of cluster stars was forming.

     
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Context. NGC 6522 is a moderately metal-poor bulge globular cluster ([Fe/H]∼−1.0), and it is a well-studied representative among a number of moderately metal-poor blue horizontal branch clusters located in the bulge. The NGC 6522 abundance pattern can give hints on the earliest chemical enrichment in the central Galaxy. Aims. The aim of this study is to derive abundances of the light elements C and N; alpha elements O, Mg, Si, Ca, and Ti; odd-Z elements Na and Al; neutron-capture elements Y, Zr, Ba, La, and Nd; and the r-process element Eu. We verify if there are first- and second-generation stars: we find clear evidence of Na-Al, Na-N, and Mg-Al correlations, while we cannot identify the Na-O anti-correlation from our data. Methods. High-resolution spectra of six red giants in the bulge globular cluster NGC 6522 were obtained at the 8m VLT UT2-Kueyen telescope with both the UVES and GIRAFFE spectrographs in FLAMES+UVES configuration. In light of Gaia data, it turned out that two of them are non-members, but these were also analysed. Spectroscopic parameters were derived through the excitation and ionisation equilibrium of Fe i and Fe ii lines from UVES spectra. The abundances were obtained with spectrum synthesis. Comparisons of abundances derived from UVES and GIRAFFE spectra were carried out. Results. The present analysis combined with previous UVES results gives a mean radial velocity of vhel = −15.62±7.7 km s−1 and a r metallicity of [Fe/H] = −1.05±0.20 for NGC 6522. Mean abundances of alpha elements for the present four member stars are enhanced with [O/Fe]=+0.38, [Mg/Fe]=≈+0.28, [Si/Fe]≈+0.19, and [Ca/Fe]≈+0.13, together with the iron-peak element [Ti/Fe]≈+0.13, and the r-process element [Eu/Fe]=+0.40. The neutron-capture elements Y, Zr, Ba, and La show enhancements in the +0.08 < [Y/Fe] < +0.90, 0.11 < [Zr/Fe] < +0.50, 0.00 < [Ba/Fe] < +0.63, 0.00 < [La/Fe] < +0.45, and -0.10 < [Nd/Fe] < +0.70 ranges. We also discuss the spread in heavy-element abundances. 
    more » « less
  3. Context. NGC 6522 is a moderately metal-poor bulge globular cluster ([Fe/H] ~ −1.0), and it is a well-studied representative among a number of moderately metal-poor blue horizontal branch clusters located in the bulge. The NGC 6522 abundance pattern can give hints on the earliest chemical enrichment in the central Galaxy. Aims. The aim of this study is to derive abundances of the light elements C and N; alpha elements O, Mg, Si, Ca, and Ti; odd-Z elements Na and Al; neutron-capture elements Y, Zr, Ba, La, and Nd; and the r -process element Eu. We verify if there are first- and second-generation stars: we find clear evidence of Na–Al, Na–N, and Mg–Al correlations, while we cannot identify the Na–O anti-correlation from our data. Methods. High-resolution spectra of six red giants in the bulge globular cluster NGC 6522 were obtained at the 8m VLT UT2-Kueyen telescope with both the UVES and GIRAFFE spectrographs in FLAMES+UVES configuration. In light of Gaia data, it turned out that two of them are non-members, but these were also analysed. Spectroscopic parameters were derived through the excitation and ionisation equilibrium of Fe  I and Fe  II lines from UVES spectra. The abundances were obtained with spectrum synthesis. Comparisons of abundances derived from UVES and GIRAFFE spectra were carried out. Results. The present analysis combined with previous UVES results gives a mean radial velocity of v r hel = −15.62±7.7 km s −1 and a metallicity of [Fe/H] = −1.05 ± 0.20 for NGC 6522. Mean abundances of alpha elements for the present four member stars are enhanced with [O/Fe] = +0.38, [Mg/Fe] = ≈+0.28, [Si/Fe] ≈ +0.19, and [Ca/Fe] ≈ +0.13, together with the iron-peak element [Ti/Fe] ≈ +0.13, and the r -process element [Eu/Fe] = +0.40. The neutron-capture elements Y, Zr, Ba, and La show enhancements in the +0.08 < [Y/Fe] < +0.90, 0.11 < [Zr/Fe] < +0.50, 0.00 < [Ba/Fe] < +0.63, 0.00 < [La/Fe] < +0.45, and −0.10 < [Nd/Fe] < +0.70 ranges. We also discuss the spread in heavy-element abundances. 
    more » « less
  4. ABSTRACT NGC 6402 is among the most massive globular clusters in the Galaxy, but little is known about its detailed chemical composition. Therefore, we obtained radial velocities and/or chemical abundances of 11 elements for 41 red giant branch stars using high resolution spectra obtained with the Magellan-M2FS instrument. We find NGC 6402 to be only moderately metal-poor with 〈[Fe/H]〉 = −1.13 dex (σ = 0.05 dex) and to have a mean heliocentric radial velocity of −61.1 km s−1 (σ = 8.5 km s−1). In general, NGC 6402 exhibits mean composition properties that are similar to other inner Galaxy clusters, such as [α/Fe] ∼+0.3 dex, [Cr,Ni/Fe] ∼ 0.0 dex, and 〈[La/Eu]〉 = −0.08 dex. Similarly, we find large star-to-star abundance variations for O, Na, Mg, Al, and Si that are indicative of gas that experienced high temperature proton-capture burning. Interestingly, we not only detect three distinct populations but also find large gaps in the [O/Fe], [Na/Fe], and [Al/Fe] distributions that may provide the first direct evidence of delayed formation for intermediate composition stars. A qualitative enrichment model is discussed where clusters form stars through an early ($\lesssim$5–10 Myr) phase, which results in first generation and ‘extreme’ composition stars, and a delayed phase ($\gtrsim$40 Myr), which results in the dilution of processed and pristine gas and the formation of intermediate composition stars. For NGC 6402, the missing intermediate composition stars suggest the delayed phase terminated prematurely, and as a result the cluster may uniquely preserve details of the chemical enrichment process. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We present new observational benchmarks of rapid neutron-capture process (r-process) nucleosynthesis for elements at and between the first (A∼ 80) and second (A∼ 130) peaks. Our analysis is based on archival ultraviolet and optical spectroscopy of eight metal-poor stars with Se (Z= 34) or Te (Z= 52) detections, whoser-process enhancement varies by more than a factor of 30 (−0.22 ≤ [Eu/Fe] ≤ +1.32). We calculate ratios among the abundances of Se, Sr through Mo (38 ≤Z≤ 42), and Te. These benchmarks may offer a new empirical alternative to the predicted solar systemr-process residual pattern. The Te abundances in these stars correlate more closely with the lighterr-process elements than the heavier ones, contradicting and superseding previous findings. The small star-to-star dispersion among the abundances of Se, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, and Te (≤0.13 dex, or 26%) matches that observed among the abundances of the lanthanides and thirdr-process-peak elements. The concept ofr-process universality that is recognized among the lanthanide and third-peak elements inr-process-enhanced stars may also apply to Se, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, and Te, provided the overall abundances of the lighterr-process elements are scaled independently of the heavier ones. The abundance behavior of the elements Ru through Sn (44 ≤Z≤ 50) requires further study. Our results suggest that at least one relatively common source in the early Universe produced a consistent abundance pattern among some elements spanning the first and secondr-process peaks.

     
    more » « less