skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Cunha, K."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. 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] andmore »[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.« less
  2. We investigate the inner regions of the Milky Way using data from APOGEE and Gaia EDR3. Our inner Galactic sample has more than 26 500 stars within | X Gal |< 5 kpc, | Y Gal |< 3.5 kpc, | Z Gal |< 1 kpc, and we also carry out the analysis for a foreground-cleaned subsample of 8000 stars that is more representative of the bulge–bar populations. These samples allow us to build chemo-dynamical maps of the stellar populations with vastly improved detail. The inner Galaxy shows an apparent chemical bimodality in key abundance ratios [ α /Fe], [C/N], and [Mn/O], which probe different enrichment timescales, suggesting a star formation gap (quenching) between the high- and low- α populations. Using a joint analysis of the distributions of kinematics, metallicities, mean orbital radius, and chemical abundances, we can characterize the different populations coexisting in the innermost regions of the Galaxy for the first time. The chemo-kinematic data dissected on an eccentricity–| Z | max plane reveal the chemical and kinematic signatures of the bar, the thin inner disc, and an inner thick disc, and a broad metallicity population with large velocity dispersion indicative of a pressure-supported component. The interplay between thesemore »different populations is mapped onto the different metallicity distributions seen in the eccentricity–| Z | max diagram consistently with the mean orbital radius and V ϕ distributions. A clear metallicity gradient as a function of | Z | max is also found, which is consistent with the spatial overlapping of different populations. Additionally, we find and chemically and kinematically characterize a group of counter-rotating stars that could be the result of a gas-rich merger event or just the result of clumpy star formation during the earliest phases of the early disc that migrated into the bulge. Finally, based on 6D information, we assign stars a probability value of being on a bar orbit and find that most of the stars with large bar orbit probabilities come from the innermost 3 kpc, with a broad dispersion of metallicity. Even stars with a high probability of belonging to the bar show chemical bimodality in the [ α /Fe] versus [Fe/H] diagram. This suggests bar trapping to be an efficient mechanism, explaining why stars on bar orbits do not show a significant, distinct chemical abundance ratio signature.« less
  3. The Galactic center region, including the nuclear disk, has until recently been largely avoided in chemical census studies because of extreme extinction and stellar crowding. Large, near-IR spectroscopic surveys, such as the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), allow the measurement of metallicities in the inner region of our Galaxy. Making use of the latest APOGEE data release (DR16), we are able for the first time to study cool Asymptotic Giant branch (AGB) stars and supergiants in this region. The stellar parameters of five known AGB stars and one supergiant star (VR 5-7) show that their location is well above the tip of the red giant branch. We studied metallicities of 157 M giants situated within 150 pc of the Galactic center from observations obtained by the APOGEE survey with reliable stellar parameters from the APOGEE pipeline making use of the cool star grid down to 3200 K. Distances, interstellar extinction values, and radial velocities were checked to confirm that these stars are indeed situated in the Galactic center region. We detect a clear bimodal structure in the metallicity distribution function, with a dominant metal-rich peak of [Fe/H] ∼ +0.3 dex and a metal-poor peak around {Fe/H] = −0.5more »dex, which is 0.2 dex poorer than Baade’s Window. The α -elements Mg, Si, Ca, and O show a similar trend to the Galactic bulge. The metal-poor component is enhanced in the α -elements, suggesting that this population could be associated with the classical bulge and a fast formation scenario. We find a clear signature of a rotating nuclear stellar disk and a significant fraction of high-velocity stars with v gal  >  300 km s −1 ; the metal-rich stars show a much higher rotation velocity (∼200 km s −1 ) with respect to the metal-poor stars (∼140 km s −1 ). The chemical abundances as well as the metallicity distribution function suggest that the nuclear stellar disk and the nuclear star cluster show distinct chemical signatures and might be formed differently.« less
  4. We present new fluorine abundance measurements for a sample of carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars and two other metal-poor evolved stars of Ba/CH types. The abundances are derived from IR, K -band, high-resolution spectra obtained using GEMINI-S/Phoenix and TNG/Giano-b. Our sample includes an extragalactic AGB carbon star belonging to the Sagittarius dSph galaxy. The metallicity of our stars ranges from [Fe/H] = 0.0 down to − 1.4 dex. The new measurements, together with those previously derived in similar stars, show that normal (N-type) and SC-type AGB carbon stars of near solar metallicity present similar F enhancements, discarding previous hints that suggested that SC-type stars have larger enhancements. These mild F enhancements are compatible with current chemical-evolution models pointing out that AGB stars, although relevant, are not the main sources of this element in the solar neighbourhood. Larger [F/Fe] ratios are found for lower-metallicity stars. This is confirmed by theory. We highlight a tight relation between the [F/⟨s⟩] ratio and the average s-element enhancement [⟨s⟩/Fe] for stars with [Fe/H] > −0.5, which can be explained by the current state-of-the-art low-mass AGB models assuming an extended 13 C pocket. For stars with [Fe/H] < −0.5, discrepancies between observations and model predictionsmore »still exist. We conclude that the mechanism of F production in AGB stars needs further scrutiny and that simultaneous F and s-element measurements in a larger number of metal-poor AGB stars are needed to better constrain the models.« less

    Analyses of data from spectroscopic and astrometric surveys have led to conflicting results concerning the vertical characteristics of the Milky Way. Ages are often used to provide clarity, but typical uncertainties of >40 per cent from photometry restrict the validity of the inferences made. Using the Kepler APOKASC sample for context, we explore the global population trends of two K2 campaign fields (3 and 6), which extend further vertically out of the Galactic plane than APOKASC. We analyse the properties of red giant stars utilizing three asteroseismic data analysis methods to cross-check and validate detections. The Bayesian inference tool PARAM is used to determine the stellar masses, radii, and ages. Evidence of a pronounced red giant branch bump and an [α/Fe] dependence on the position of the red clump is observed from the K2 fields radius distribution. Two peaks in the age distribution centred at ∼5 and ∼12 Gyr are found using a sample with σage < 35 per cent. In comparison with Kepler, we find the older peak to be more prominent for K2. This age bimodality is also observed based on a chemical selection of low-[α/Fe] (≤0.1) and high-[α/Fe] (>0.1) stars. As a function of vertical distance from the Galactic mid-plane (|Z|),more »the age distribution shows a transition from a young to old stellar population with increasing |Z| for the K2 fields. Further coverage of campaign targets with high-resolution spectroscopy is required to increase the yield of precise ages achievable with asteroseismology.

    « less