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  1. Abstract

    The element abundance pattern found in Milky Way disk stars is close to two-dimensional, dominated by production from one prompt process and one delayed process. This simplicity is remarkable, since the elements are produced by a multitude of nucleosynthesis mechanisms operating in stars with a wide range of progenitor masses. We fit the abundances of 14 elements for 48,659 red-giant stars from APOGEE Data Release 17 using a flexible, data-drivenK-process model—dubbedKPM. In our fiducial model, withK= 2, each abundance in each star is described as the sum of a prompt and a delayed process contribution. We find thatKPMwithK= 2 is able to explain the abundances well, recover the observed abundance bimodality, and detect the bimodality over a greater range in metallicity than has previously been possible. We compare to prior work by Weinberg et al., finding thatKPMproduces similar results, but thatKPMbetter predicts stellar abundances, especially for the elements C+N and Mn and for stars at supersolar metallicities. The model fixes the relative contribution of the prompt and delayed processes to two elements to break degeneracies and improve interpretability; we find that some of the nucleosynthetic implications are dependent upon these detailed choices. We find that moving to four processes adds flexibility and improves the model’s ability to predict the stellar abundances, but does not qualitatively change the story. The results ofKPMwill help us to interpret and constrain the formation of the Galaxy disk, the relationship between abundances and ages, and the physics of nucleosynthesis.

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    The Magellanic Cloud system represents a unique laboratory for study of both interacting dwarf galaxies and the ongoing process of the formation of the Milky Way and its halo. We focus on one aspect of this complex, three-body interaction – the dynamical perturbation of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) by the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and specifically potential tidal effects on the SMC’s eastern side. Using Gaia astrometry and the precise radial velocities (RVs) and multielement chemical abundances from Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE-2) Data Release 17, we explore the well-known distance bimodality on the eastern side of the SMC. Through estimated stellar distances, proper motions, and RVs, we characterize the kinematics of the two populations in the bimodality and compare their properties with those of SMC populations elsewhere. Moreover, while all regions explored by APOGEE seem to show a single chemical enrichment history, the metallicity distribution function (MDF), of the ‘far’ stars on the eastern periphery of the SMC is found to resemble that for the more metal-poor fields of the western periphery, whereas the MDF for the ‘near’ stars on the eastern periphery resembles that for stars in the SMC Centre. The closer eastern periphery stars also show RVs (corrected for SMC rotation and bulk motion) that are, on average, approaching us relative to all other SMC populations sampled. We interpret these trends as evidence that the near stars on the eastern side of the SMC represent material pulled out of the central SMC as part of its tidal interaction with the LMC.

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  3. Abstract

    We present an analysis of nearly 1000 near-infrared, integrated-light spectra from APOGEE in the inner ∼7 kpc of M31. We utilize full-spectrum fitting with A-LIST simple stellar population spectral templates that represent a population of stars with the same age, [M/H], and [α/M]. With this, we determine the mean kinematics, metallicities,αabundances, and ages of the stellar populations of M31's bar, bulge, and inner disk (∼4–7 kpc). We find a nonaxisymmetric velocity field in M31 resulting from the presence of a bar. The bulge of M31 is less metal-rich (mean [M/H] =0.1490.081+0.067dex) than the disk, features minima in metallicity on either side of the bar ([M/H] ∼ −0.2), and is enhanced inαabundance (mean [α/M] =0.2810.038+0.035). The disk of M31 within ∼7 kpc is enhanced in both metallicity ([M/H] =0.0230.052+0.050) andαabundance ([α/M] =0.2740.025+0.020). Both of these structural components are uniformly old at ≃12 Gyr. We find the mean metallicity increases with distance from the center of M31, with the steepest gradient along the disk major axis (0.043 ± 0.021 dex kpc−1). This gradient is the result of changing light contributions from the bulge and disk. The chemodynamics of stellar populations encodes information about a galaxy’s chemical enrichment, star formation history, and merger history, allowing us to discuss new constraints on M31's formation. Our results provide a stepping stone between our understanding of the Milky Way and other external galaxies.

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  4. Abstract We present a spectroscopic analysis of a sample of 48 M-dwarf stars (0.2 M ⊙ < M < 0.6 M ⊙ ) from the Hyades open cluster using high-resolution H -band spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey/Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey. Our methodology adopts spectrum synthesis with LTE MARCS model atmospheres, along with the APOGEE Data Release 17 line list, to determine effective temperatures, surface gravities, metallicities, and projected rotational velocities. The median metallicity obtained for the Hyades M dwarfs is [M/H] = 0.09 ± 0.03 dex, indicating a small internal uncertainty and good agreement with optical results for Hyades red giants. Overall, the median radii are larger than predicted by stellar models by 1.6% ± 2.3% and 2.4% ± 2.3%, relative to a MIST and DARTMOUTH isochrone, respectively. We emphasize, however, that these isochrones are different, and the fractional radius inflation for the fully and partially convective regimes have distinct behaviors depending on the isochrone. Using a MIST isochrone there is no evidence of radius inflation for the fully convective stars, while for the partially convective M dwarfs the radii are inflated by 2.7% ± 2.1%, which is in agreement with predictions from models that include magnetic fields. For the partially convective stars, rapid rotators present on average higher inflation levels than slow rotators. The comparison with SPOTS isochrone models indicates that the derived M-dwarf radii can be explained by accounting for stellar spots in the photosphere of the stars, with 76% of the studied M dwarfs having up to 20% spot coverage, and the most inflated stars with ∼20%–40% spot coverage. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  5. 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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    Stellar radial migration plays an important role in reshaping a galaxy’s structure and the radial distribution of stellar population properties. In this work, we revisit reported observational evidence for radial migration and quantify its strength using the age–[Fe/H] distribution of stars across the Milky Way with APOGEE data. We find a broken age–[Fe/H] relation in the Galactic disc at r > 6 kpc, with a more pronounced break at larger radii. To quantify the strength of radial migration, we assume stars born at each radius have a unique age and metallicity, and then decompose the metallicity distribution function (MDF) of mono-age young populations into different Gaussian components that originated from various birth radii at rbirth < 13 kpc. We find that, at ages of 2 and 3 Gyr, roughly half the stars were formed within 1 kpc of their present radius, and very few stars (<5 per cent) were formed more than 4 kpc away from their present radius. These results suggest limited short-distance radial migration and inefficient long-distance migration in the Milky Way during the last 3 Gyr. In the very outer disc beyond 15 kpc, the observed age–[Fe/H] distribution is consistent with the prediction of pure radial migration from smaller radii, suggesting a migration origin of the very outer disc. We also estimate intrinsic metallicity gradients at ages of 2 and 3 Gyr of −0.061 and −0.063 dex kpc−1, respectively.

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  7. null (Ed.)
    Abstract We present a search for close, unresolved companions in a subset of spatially resolved Gaia wide binaries containing main-sequence stars within 200 pc of the Sun, utilizing the APOGEE–Gaia Wide Binary Catalog. A catalog of 37 wide binaries was created by selecting pairs of stars with nearly identical Gaia positions, parallaxes, and proper motions, and then confirming candidates to be gravitationally-bound pairs using APOGEE radial velocities. We identify close, unresolved stellar and substellar candidate companions in these multiple systems using (1) the Gaia binary main-sequence and (2) observed periodic radial velocity variations in APOGEE measurements due to the influence of a close substellar-mass companion. The studied wide binary pairs reveal a total of four stellar-mass close companions in four different wide binaries, and four substellar-mass close companion candidates in two wide binaries. The latter are therefore quadruple systems, with one substellar mass companion orbiting each wide binary component in an S-type orbit. Taken at face value, these candidate systems represent an enhancement of an order of magnitude over the expected occurrence rate of ∼2 per cent of stars having substellar companions >2 MJup within ∼100 day orbits; we discuss implications and possible explanations for this result. Finally, we compare chemical differences between the components of the wide binaries and the components of the candidate higher-order systems and find that any chemical influence or correlation due to the presence of close companions to wide binary stars is not discernible. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
  9. ABSTRACT Recent evidence based on APOGEE data for stars within a few kpc of the Galactic Centre suggests that dissolved globular clusters (GCs) contribute significantly to the stellar mass budget of the inner halo. In this paper, we enquire into the origins of tracers of GC dissolution, N-rich stars, that are located in the inner 4 kpc of the Milky Way. From an analysis of the chemical compositions of these stars, we establish that about 30 per cent of the N-rich stars previously identified in the inner Galaxy may have an accreted origin. This result is confirmed by an analysis of the kinematic properties of our sample. The specific frequency of N-rich stars is quite large in the accreted population, exceeding that of its in situ counterparts by near an order of magnitude, in disagreement with predictions from numerical simulations. We hope that our numbers provide a useful test to models of GC formation and destruction. 
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  10. null (Ed.)