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  1. ABSTRACT In this work, we combine spectroscopic information from the SkyMapper survey for Extremely Metal-Poor stars and astrometry from Gaia DR2 to investigate the kinematics of a sample of 475 stars with a metallicity range of $-6.5 \le \rm [Fe/H] \le -2.05$ dex. Exploiting the action map, we identify 16 and 40 stars dynamically consistent with the Gaia Sausage and Gaia Sequoia accretion events, respectively. The most metal poor of these candidates have metallicities of $\rm [Fe/H]=-3.31\, \mathrm{ and }\, -3.74$, respectively, helping to define the low-metallicity tail of the progenitors involved in the accretion events. We also find, consistentmore »with other studies, that ∼21 per cent of the sample have orbits that remain confined to within 3 kpc of the Galactic plane, that is, |Zmax| ≤ 3 kpc. Of particular interest is a subsample (∼11 per cent of the total) of low |Zmax| stars with low eccentricities and prograde motions. The lowest metallicity of these stars has [Fe/H] = –4.30 and the subsample is best interpreted as the very low-metallicity tail of the metal-weak thick disc population. The low |Zmax|, low eccentricity stars with retrograde orbits are likely accreted, while the low |Zmax|, high eccentricity pro- and retrograde stars are plausibly associated with the Gaia Sausage system. We find that a small fraction of our sample (∼4 per cent of the total) is likely escaping from the Galaxy, and postulate that these stars have gained energy from gravitational interactions that occur when infalling dwarf galaxies are tidally disrupted.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We present and discuss the results of a search for extremely metal-poor stars based on photometry from data release DR1.1 of the SkyMapper imaging survey of the southern sky. In particular, we outline our photometric selection procedures and describe the low-resolution (R ≈ 3000) spectroscopic follow-up observations that are used to provide estimates of effective temperature, surface gravity, and metallicity ([Fe/H]) for the candidates. The selection process is very efficient: of the 2618 candidates with low-resolution spectra that have photometric metallicity estimates less than or equal to −2.0, 41 per cent have [Fe/H] ≤ −2.75 and only approximately seven per cent have [Fe/H] > −2.0 dex. Themore »most metal-poor candidate in the sample has [Fe/H] < −4.75 and is notably carbon rich. Except at the lowest metallicities ([Fe/H] < −4), the stars observed spectroscopically are dominated by a ‘carbon-normal’ population with [C/Fe]1D, LTE ≤ +1 dex. Consideration of the A(C)1D, LTE versus [Fe/H]1D, LTE diagram suggests that the current selection process is strongly biased against stars with A(C)1D, LTE > 7.3 (predominantly CEMP-s) while any bias against stars with A(C)1D, LTE < 7.3 and [C/Fe]1D,LTE > +1 (predominantly CEMP-no) is not readily quantifiable given the uncertainty in the SkyMapper v-band DR1.1 photometry. We find that the metallicity distribution function of the observed sample has a power-law slope of Δ(Log N)/Δ[Fe/H] = 1.5 ± 0.1 dex per dex for −4.0 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ −2.75, but appears to drop abruptly at [Fe/H] ≈ −4.2, in line with previous studies.« less
  3. ABSTRACT We report the discovery of SMSS J160540.18−144323.1, a new ultra metal-poor halo star discovered with the SkyMapper telescope. We measure $\left[\rm {Fe}/\rm {H}\right]= -6.2 \pm 0.2$ (1D LTE), the lowest ever detected abundance of iron in a star. The star is strongly carbon-enhanced, $\left[\rm {C}/\rm {Fe}\right] = 3.9 \pm 0.2$, while other abundances are compatible with an α-enhanced solar-like pattern with $\left[\rm {Ca}/\rm {Fe}\right] = 0.4 \pm 0.2$, $\left[\rm {Mg}/\rm {Fe}\right] = 0.6 \pm 0.2$, $\left[\rm {Ti}/\rm {Fe}\right] = 0.8 \pm 0.2$, and no significant s- or r-process enrichment, $\left[\rm {Sr}/\rm {Fe}\right] \lt 0.2$ and $\left[\rm {Ba}/\rm {Fe}\right] \ltmore »1.0$ (3σ limits). Population III stars exploding as fallback supernovae may explain both the strong carbon enhancement and the apparent lack of enhancement of odd-Z and neutron-capture element abundances. Grids of supernova models computed for metal-free progenitor stars yield good matches for stars of about $10\, \rm M_\odot$ imparting a low kinetic energy on the supernova ejecta, while models for stars more massive than roughly $20\, \rm M_\odot$ are incompatible with the observed abundance pattern.« less
  4. Context. Red giant branch (RGB) stars are very bright objects in galaxies and are often used as standard candles. Interferometry is the ideal tool to characterize the dynamics and morphology of their atmospheres. Aims. We aim at precisely characterising the surface dynamics of a sample of RGB stars. Methods. We obtained interferometric observations for three RGB stars with the MIRC instrument mounted at the CHARA interferometer. We looked for asymmetries on the stellar surfaces using limb-darkening models. Results. We measured the apparent diameters of HD 197989 ( ϵ Cyg) = 4.61 ± 0.02 mas, HD 189276 (HR 7633) = 2.95 ± 0.01 mas,more »and HD 161096 ( β Oph) = 4.43 ± 0.01 mas. We detected departures from the centrosymmetric case for all three stars with the tendency of a greater effect for lower log g of the sample. We explored the causes of this signal and conclude that a possible explanation to the interferometric signal is the convection-related and/or the magnetic-related surface activity. However, it is necessary to monitor these stars with new observations, possibly coupled with spectroscopy, in order to firmly establish the cause.« less