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    Standard stellar evolution theory poorly predicts the surface abundances of chemical species in low-mass, red giant branch (RGB) stars. Observations show an enhancement of p–p chain and CNO cycle products in red giant envelopes, which suggests the existence of non-canonical mixing that brings interior burning products to the surface of these stars. The 12C/13C ratio is a highly sensitive abundance metric used to probe this mixing. We investigate extra RGB mixing by examining: (1) how 12C/13C is altered along the RGB, and (2) how 12C/13C changes for stars of varying age and mass. Our sample consists of 43 red giants, spread over 15 open clusters from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s APOGEE DR17, that have reliable 12C/13C ratios derived from their APOGEE spectra. We vetted these 12C/13C ratios and compared them as a function of evolution and age/mass to the standard mixing model of stellar evolution, and to a model that includes prescriptions for RGB thermohaline mixing and stellar rotation. We find that the observations deviate from standard mixing models, implying the need for extra mixing. Additionally, some of the abundance patterns depart from the thermohaline model, and it is unclear whether these differences are due to incomplete observations, issues inherent to the model, our assumption of the cause of extra mixing, or any combination of these factors. Nevertheless, the surface abundances across our age/mass range clearly deviate from the standard model, agreeing with the notion of a universal mechanism for RGB extra mixing in low-mass stars.

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  2. 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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  3. Abstract

    We use time-resolved spectra from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) to examine the distribution of radial velocity (RV) variations in 249 stars identified as members of the Sagittarius (Sgr) dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy by Hayes et al. We select Milky Way (MW) stars that have stellar parameters (log(g),Teff, and [Fe/H] ) similar to those of the Sagittarius members by means of a k-d tree of dimension 3. We find that the shape of the distribution of RV shifts in Sgr dSph stars is similar to that measured in their MW analogs, but the total fraction of RV variable stars in the Sgr dSph is larger by a factor of ∼2. After ruling out other explanations for this difference, we conclude that the fraction of close binaries in the Sgr dSph is intrinsically higher than in the MW. We discuss the implications of this result for the physical processes leading to the formation of close binaries in dwarf spheroidal and spiral galaxies.

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  6. Abstract The eighteenth data release (DR18) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is the first one for SDSS-V, the fifth generation of the survey. SDSS-V comprises three primary scientific programs or “Mappers”: the Milky Way Mapper (MWM), the Black Hole Mapper (BHM), and the Local Volume Mapper. This data release contains extensive targeting information for the two multiobject spectroscopy programs (MWM and BHM), including input catalogs and selection functions for their numerous scientific objectives. We describe the production of the targeting databases and their calibration and scientifically focused components. DR18 also includes ∼25,000 new SDSS spectra and supplemental information for X-ray sources identified by eROSITA in its eFEDS field. We present updates to some of the SDSS software pipelines and preview changes anticipated for DR19. We also describe three value-added catalogs (VACs) based on SDSS-IV data that have been published since DR17, and one VAC based on the SDSS-V data in the eFEDS field. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  7. Abstract The SDSS-IV Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey has obtained high-resolution spectra for thousands of red giant stars distributed among the massive satellite galaxies of the Milky Way (MW): the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC/SMC), the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy (Sgr), Fornax (Fnx), and the now fully disrupted Gaia Sausage/Enceladus (GSE) system. We present and analyze the APOGEE chemical abundance patterns of each galaxy to draw robust conclusions about their star formation histories, by quantifying the relative abundance trends of multiple elements (C, N, O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Fe, Ni, and Ce), as well as by fitting chemical evolution models to the [ α /Fe]–[Fe/H] abundance plane for each galaxy. Results show that the chemical signatures of the starburst in the Magellanic Clouds (MCs) observed by Nidever et al. in the α -element abundances extend to C+N, Al, and Ni, with the major burst in the SMC occurring some 3–4 Gyr before the burst in the LMC. We find that Sgr and Fnx also exhibit chemical abundance patterns suggestive of secondary star formation epochs, but these events were weaker and earlier (∼5–7 Gyr ago) than those observed in the MCs. There is no chemical evidence of a second starburst in GSE, but this galaxy shows the strongest initial star formation as compared to the other four galaxies. All dwarf galaxies had greater relative contributions of AGB stars to their enrichment than the MW. Comparing and contrasting these chemical patterns highlight the importance of galaxy environment on its chemical evolution. 
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  8. Abstract APOGEE is a high-resolution ( R ∼ 22,000), near-infrared, multi-epoch, spectroscopic survey of the Milky Way. The second generation of the APOGEE project, APOGEE-2, includes an expansion of the survey to the Southern Hemisphere called APOGEE-2S. This expansion enabled APOGEE to perform a fully panoramic mapping of all of the main regions of the Milky Way; in particular, by operating in the H band, APOGEE is uniquely able to probe the dust-hidden inner regions of the Milky Way that are best accessed from the Southern Hemisphere. In this paper we present the targeting strategy of APOGEE-2S, with special attention to documenting modifications to the original, previously published plan. The motivation for these changes is explained as well as an assessment of their effectiveness in achieving their intended scientific objective. In anticipation of this being the last paper detailing APOGEE targeting, we present an accounting of all such information complete through the end of the APOGEE-2S project; this includes several main survey programs dedicated to exploration of major stellar populations and regions of the Milky Way, as well as a full list of programs contributing to the APOGEE database through allocations of observing time by the Chilean National Time Allocation Committee and the Carnegie Institution for Science. This work was presented along with a companion article, Beaton et al. (2021), presenting the final target selection strategy adopted for APOGEE-2 in the Northern Hemisphere. 
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