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  1. Abstract

    We present spectroscopic chemical abundances of red giant branch stars in Andromeda (M31), using medium-resolution (R∼ 6000) spectra obtained via the Spectroscopic and Photometric Landscape of Andromeda’s Stellar Halo survey. In addition to individual chemical abundances, we coadd low signal-to-noise ratio spectra of stars to obtain a high enough signal to measure average [Fe/H] and [α/Fe] abundances. We obtain individual and coadded measurements for [Fe/H] and [α/Fe] for M31 halo stars, covering a range of 9–180 kpc in projected radius from the center of M31. With these measurements, we greatly increase the number of outer halo (Rproj> 50 kpc) M31 stars with spectroscopic [Fe/H] and [α/Fe], adding abundance measurements for 45 individual stars and 33 coadds from a pool of an additional 174 stars. We measure the spectroscopic metallicity ([Fe/H]) gradient, finding a negative radial gradient of −0.0084 ± 0.0008 for all stars in the halo, consistent with gradient measurements obtained using photometric metallicities. Using the first measurements of [α/Fe] for M31 halo stars covering a large range of projected radii, we find a positive gradient (+0.0027 ± 0.0005) in [α/Fe] as a function of projected radius. We also explore the distribution in [Fe/H]–[α/Fe] space as a function of projected radius for both individual and coadded measurements in the smooth halo, and compare these measurements to those stars potentially associated with substructure. These spectroscopic abundance distributions add to existing evidence that M31 has had an appreciably different formation and merger history compared to our own Galaxy.

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    We introduce the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)/ Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) value-added catalogue of Galactic globular cluster (GC) stars. The catalogue is the result of a critical search of the APOGEE Data Release 17 (DR17) catalogue for candidate members of all known Galactic GCs. Candidate members are assigned to various GCs on the basis of position in the sky, proper motion, and radial velocity. The catalogue contains a total of 7737 entries for 6422 unique stars associated with 72 Galactic GCs. Full APOGEE DR17 information is provided, including radial velocities and abundances for up to 20 elements. Membership probabilities estimated on the basis of precision radial velocities are made available. Comparisons with chemical compositions derived from the GALactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH) survey, as well as optical values from the literature, show good agreement. This catalogue represents a significant increase in the public data base of GC star chemical compositions and kinematics, providing a massive homogeneous data set that will enable a variety of studies. The catalogue in fits format is available for public download from the SDSS-IV DR17 value-added catalogue website.

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  3. Abstract

    Stellar streams in the Galactic halo are useful probes of the assembly of galaxies like the Milky Way. Many tidal stellar streams that have been found in recent years are accompanied by a known progenitor globular cluster or dwarf galaxy. However, the Orphan–Chenab (OC) stream is one case where a relatively narrow stream of stars has been found without a known progenitor. In an effort to find the parent of the OC stream, we use astrometry from the early third data release of ESA’s Gaia mission (Gaia EDR3) and radial velocity information from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)-IV Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey to find up to 13 stars that are likely members of the OC stream. We use the APOGEE survey to study the chemical nature (for up to 10 stars) of the OC stream in theα(O, Mg, Ca, Si, Ti, and S), odd-Z(Al, K, and V), Fe-peak (Fe, Ni, Mn, Co, and Cr), and neutron-capture (Ce) elemental groups. We find that the stars that make up the OC stream are not consistent with a monometallic population and have a median metallicity of −1.92 dex with a dispersion of 0.28 dex. Our results also indicate that the α elements are depleted compared to the known Milky Way populations and that its [Mg/Al] abundance ratio is not consistent with second-generation stars from globular clusters. The detailed chemical pattern of these stars, namely the [α/Fe]–[Fe/H] plane and the metallicity distribution, indicates that the OC stream progenitor is very likely to be a dwarf spheroidal galaxy with a mass of ∼106M.

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  4. Abstract We created the APOGEE-GALEX-Gaia catalog to study white dwarf (WD) binaries. This database aims to create a minimally biased sample of WD binary systems identified from a combination of GALEX, Gaia, and APOGEE data to increase the number of WD binaries with orbital parameters and chemical compositions. We identify 3414 sources as WD binary candidates, with nondegenerate companions of spectral types between F and M, including main-sequence stars, main-sequence binaries, subgiants, sub-subgiants, red giants, and red clump stars. Among our findings are (a) a total of 1806 systems having inferred WD radii R < 25 R ⊕ , which constitute a more reliable group of WD binary candidates within the main sample; (b) a difference in the metallicity distribution function between WD binary candidates and the control sample of most luminous giants ( M H < −3.0); (c) the existence of a population of sub-subgiants with WD companions; (d) evidence for shorter periods in binaries that contain WDs compared to those that do not, as shown by the cumulative distributions of APOGEE radial velocity shifts; (e) evidence for systemic orbital evolution in a sample of 252 WD binaries with orbital periods, based on differences in the period distribution between systems with red clump, main-sequence binary, and sub-subgiant companions and systems with main-sequence or red giant companions; and (f) evidence for chemical enrichment during common envelope (CE) evolution, shown by lower metallicities in wide WD binary candidates ( P > 100 days) compared to post-CE ( P < 100 days) WD binary candidates. 
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  5. Abstract

    Stars that formed with an initial mass of over 50Mare very rare today, but they are thought to be more common in the early Universe. The fates of those early, metal-poor, massive stars are highly uncertain. Most are expected to directly collapse to black holes, while some may explode as a result of rotationally powered engines or the pair-creation instability. We present the chemical abundances of J0931+0038, a nearby low-mass star identified in early follow-up of the SDSS-V Milky Way Mapper, which preserves the signature of unusual nucleosynthesis from a massive star in the early Universe. J0931+0038 has a relatively high metallicity ([Fe/H] = −1.76 ± 0.13) but an extreme odd–even abundance pattern, with some of the lowest known abundance ratios of [N/Fe], [Na/Fe], [K/Fe], [Sc/Fe], and [Ba/Fe]. The implication is that a majority of its metals originated in a single extremely metal-poor nucleosynthetic source. An extensive search through nucleosynthesis predictions finds a clear preference for progenitors with initial mass >50M, making J0931+0038 one of the first observational constraints on nucleosynthesis in this mass range. However, the full abundance pattern is not matched by any models in the literature. J0931+0038 thus presents a challenge for the next generation of nucleosynthesis models and motivates the study of high-mass progenitor stars impacted by convection, rotation, jets, and/or binary companions. Though rare, more examples of unusual early nucleosynthesis in metal-poor stars should be found in upcoming large spectroscopic surveys.

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  6. Abstract

    We present new maps of the Milky Way disk showing the distribution of metallicity ([Fe/H]),α-element abundances ([Mg/Fe]), and stellar age, using a sample of 66,496 red giant stars from the final data release (DR17) of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment survey. We measure radial and vertical gradients, quantify the distribution functions for age and metallicity, and explore chemical clock relations across the Milky Way for the low-αdisk, high-αdisk, and total population independently. The low-αdisk exhibits a negative radial metallicity gradient of −0.06 ± 0.001 dex kpc−1, which flattens with distance from the midplane. The high-αdisk shows a flat radial gradient in metallicity and age across nearly all locations of the disk. The age and metallicity distribution functions shift from negatively skewed in the inner Galaxy to positively skewed at large radius. Significant bimodality in the [Mg/Fe]–[Fe/H] plane and in the [Mg/Fe]–age relation persist across the entire disk. The age estimates have typical uncertainties of ∼0.15 in log(age) and may be subject to additional systematic errors, which impose limitations on conclusions drawn from this sample. Nevertheless, these results act as critical constraints on galactic evolution models, constraining which physical processes played a dominant role in the formation of the Milky Way disk. We discuss how radial migration predicts many of the observed trends near the solar neighborhood and in the outer disk, but an additional more dramatic evolution history, such as the multi-infall model or a merger event, is needed to explain the chemical and age bimodality elsewhere in the Galaxy.

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  7. Abstract The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has recently initiated its fifth survey generation (SDSS-V), with a central focus on stellar spectroscopy. In particular, SDSS-V's Milky Way Mapper program will deliver multiepoch optical and near-infrared spectra for more than 5 × 10 6 stars across the entire sky, covering a large range in stellar mass, surface temperature, evolutionary stage, and age. About 10% of those spectra will be of hot stars of OBAF spectral types, for whose analysis no established survey pipelines exist. Here we present the spectral analysis algorithm, ZETA-PAYNE, developed specifically to obtain stellar labels from SDSS-V spectra of stars with these spectral types and drawing on machine-learning tools. We provide details of the algorithm training, its test on artificial spectra, and its validation on two control samples of real stars. Analysis with ZETA-PAYNE leads to only modest internal uncertainties in the near-IR with APOGEE (optical with BOSS): 3%–10% (1%–2%) for T eff , 5%–30% (5%–25%) for v sin i , 1.7–6.3 km s −1 (0.7–2.2 km s −1 ) for radial velocity, <0.1 dex (<0.05 dex) for log g , and 0.4–0.5 dex (0.1 dex) for [M/H] of the star, respectively. We find a good agreement between atmospheric parameters of OBAF-type stars when inferred from their high- and low-resolution optical spectra. For most stellar labels, the APOGEE spectra are (far) less informative than the BOSS spectra of these stars, while log g , v sin i , and [M/H] are in most cases too uncertain for meaningful astrophysical interpretation. This makes BOSS low-resolution optical spectra better for stellar labels of OBAF-type stars, unless the latter are subject to high levels of extinction. 
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    The spatial distribution of mono-abundance populations (MAPs, selected in [Fe/H] and [Mg/Fe]) reflect the chemical and structural evolution in a galaxy and impose strong constraints on galaxy formation models. In this paper, we use APOGEE data to derive the intrinsic density distribution of MAPs in the Milky Way, after carefully considering the survey selection function. We find that a single exponential profile is not a sufficient description of the Milky Way’s disc. Both the individual MAPs and the integrated disc exhibit a broken radial density distribution; densities are relatively constant with radius in the inner Galaxy and rapidly decrease beyond the break radius. We fit the intrinsic density distribution as a function of radius and vertical height with a 2D density model that considers both a broken radial profile and radial variation of scale height (i.e. flaring). There is a large variety of structural parameters between different MAPs, indicative of strong structure evolution of the Milky Way. One surprising result is that high-α MAPs show the strongest flaring. The young, solar-abundance MAPs present the shortest scale height and least flaring, suggesting recent and ongoing star formation confined to the disc plane. Finally we derive the intrinsic density distribution and corresponding structural parameters of the chemically defined thin and thick discs. The chemical thick and thin discs have local surface mass densities of 5.62 ± 0.08 and 15.69 ± 0.32 M⊙pc−2, respectively, suggesting a massive thick disc with a local surface mass density ratio between thick to thin disc of 36 per cent.

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  9. null (Ed.)