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  1. Aims. The Blanco DECam Bulge Survey (BDBS) has imaged more than 200 square degrees of the southern Galactic bulge, providing photometry in the ugrizy filters for ∼250 million unique stars. The presence of a strong foreground disk population, along with complex reddening and extreme image crowding, has made it difficult to constrain the presence of young and intermediate age stars in the bulge population. Methods. We employed an accurate cross-match of BDBS with the latest data release (EDR3) from the Gaia mission, matching more than 140 million sources with BDBS photometry and Gaia EDR3 photometry and astrometry. We relied on Gaia EDR3 astrometry, without any photometric selection, to produce clean BDBS bulge colour-magnitude diagrams (CMDs). Gaia parallaxes were used to filter out bright foreground sources, and a Gaussian mixture model fit to Galactic proper motions could identify stars kinematically consistent with bulge membership. We applied this method to 127 different bulge fields of 1 deg 2 each, with | ℓ | ≤ 9.5° and −9.5° ≤ b  ≤ −2.5°. Results. The astrometric cleaning procedure removes the majority of blue stars in each field, especially near the Galactic plane, where the ratio of blue to red stars is ≲10%, increasing to values ∼20% at highermore »Galactic latitudes. We rule out the presence of a widespread population of stars younger than 2 Gyr. The vast majority of blue stars brighter than the turnoff belong to the foreground population, according to their measured astrometry. We introduce the distance between the observed red giant branch bump and the red clump as a simple age proxy for the dominant population in the field, and we confirm the picture of a predominantly old bulge. Further work is needed to apply the method to estimate ages to fields at higher latitudes, and to model the complex morphology of the Galactic bulge. We also produce transverse kinematic maps, recovering expected patterns related to the presence of the bar and of the X-shaped nature of the bulge.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT We present photometric metallicity measurements for a sample of 2.6 million bulge red clump stars extracted from the Blanco DECam Bulge Survey (BDBS). Similar to previous studies, we find that the bulge exhibits a strong vertical metallicity gradient, and that at least two peaks in the metallicity distribution functions appear at b < −5°. We can discern a metal-poor ([Fe/H] ∼ −0.3) and metal-rich ([Fe/H] ∼ +0.2) abundance distribution that each show clear systematic trends with latitude, and may be best understood by changes in the bulge’s star formation/enrichment processes. Both groups exhibit asymmetric tails, and as a result we argue that the proximity of a star to either peak in [Fe/H] space is not necessarily an affirmation of group membership. The metal-poor peak shifts to lower [Fe/H] values at larger distances from the plane while the metal-rich tail truncates. Close to the plane, the metal-rich tail appears broader along the minor axis than in off-axis fields. We also posit that the bulge has two metal-poor populations – one that belongs to the metal-poor tail of the low latitude and predominantly metal-rich group, and another belonging to the metal-poor group that dominates in the outer bulge. We detect themore »X-shape structure in fields with |Z| > 0.7 kpc and for stars with [Fe/H] > −0.5. Stars with [Fe/H] < −0.5 may form a spheroidal or ‘thick bar’ distribution while those with [Fe/H] $\gtrsim$ −0.1 are strongly concentrated near the plane.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 22, 2023
  3. Abstract

    Stellar evolution models calculate convective boundaries using either the Schwarzschild or Ledoux criterion, but confusion remains regarding which criterion to use. Here we present a 3D hydrodynamical simulation of a convection zone and adjacent radiative zone, including both thermal and compositional buoyancy forces. As expected, regions that are unstable according to the Ledoux criterion are convective. Initially, the radiative zone adjacent to the convection zone is Schwarzschild unstable but Ledoux stable due to a composition gradient. Over many convective overturn timescales, the convection zone grows via entrainment. The convection zone saturates at the size originally predicted by the Schwarzschild criterion, although in this final state the Schwarzschild and Ledoux criteria agree. Therefore, the Schwarzschild criterion should be used to determine the size of stellar convection zones, except possibly during short-lived evolutionary stages in which entrainment persists.

  4. Abstract

    We present the third and final data release of the K2 Galactic Archaeology Program (K2 GAP) for Campaigns C1–C8 and C10–C18. We provide asteroseismic radius and mass coefficients,κRandκM, for ∼19,000 red giant stars, which translate directly to radius and mass given a temperature. As such, K2 GAP DR3 represents the largest asteroseismic sample in the literature to date. K2 GAP DR3 stellar parameters are calibrated to be on an absolute parallactic scale based on Gaia DR2, with red giant branch and red clump evolutionary state classifications provided via a machine-learning approach. Combining these stellar parameters with GALAH DR3 spectroscopy, we determine asteroseismic ages with precisions of ∼20%–30% and compare age-abundance relations to Galactic chemical evolution models among both low- and high-αpopulations forα, light, iron-peak, and neutron-capture elements. We confirm recent indications in the literature of both increased Ba production at late Galactic times as well as significant contributions tor-process enrichment from prompt sources associated with, e.g., core-collapse supernovae. With an eye toward other Galactic archeology applications, we characterize K2 GAP DR3 uncertainties and completeness using injection tests, suggesting that K2 GAP DR3 is largely unbiased in mass/age, with uncertainties of 2.9% (stat.) ± 0.1% (syst.) and 6.7% (stat.) ±more »0.3% (syst.) inκRandκMfor red giant branch stars and 4.7% (stat.) ± 0.3% (syst.) and 11% (stat.) ± 0.9% (syst.) for red clump stars. We also identify percent-level asteroseismic systematics, which are likely related to the time baseline of the underlying data, and which therefore should be considered in TESS asteroseismic analysis.

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