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  1. Abstract

    Whereas light-element abundance variations are a hallmark of globular clusters, there is little evidence for variations in neutron-capture elements. A significant exception is M15, which shows a star-to-star dispersion in neutron-capture abundances of at least one order of magnitude. The literature contains evidence both for and against a neutron-capture dispersion in M92. We conducted an analysis of archival Keck/HIRES spectra of 35 stars in M92, 29 of which are giants, which we use exclusively for our conclusions. M92 conforms to the abundance variations typical of massive clusters. Like other globular clusters, its neutron-capture abundances were generated by ther-process. We confirm a star-to-star dispersion inr-process abundances. Unlike M15, the dispersion is limited to “first-generation” (low-Na, high-Mg) stars, and the dispersion is smaller for Sr, Y, and Zr than for Ba and the lanthanides. This is the first detection of a relation between light-element and neutron-capture abundances in a globular cluster. We propose that a source of the mainr-process polluted the cluster shortly before or concurrently with the first generation of star formation. The heavierr-process abundances were inhomogeneously distributed while the first-generation stars were forming. The second-generation stars formed after several crossing times (∼0.8 Myr); hence, the second generation shows nor-process dispersion. This scenario imposes a minimum temporal separation of 0.8 Myr between the first and second generations.

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  2. Abstract

    Dwarf galaxies are found to have lost most of their metals via feedback processes; however, there still lacks consistent assessment on the retention rate of metals in their circumgalactic medium (CGM). Here we investigate the metal content in the CGM of 45 isolated dwarf galaxies withM*= 106.5–9.5M(M200m= 1010.0–11.5M) using the Hubble Space Telescope/Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. While Hi(Lyα) is ubiquitously detected (89%) within the CGM, we find low detection rates (≈5%–22%) in Cii, Civ, Siii, Siiii, and Siiv, largely consistent with literature values. Assuming these ions form in the cool (T≈ 104K) CGM with photoionization equilibrium, the observed Hiand metal column density profiles can be best explained by an empirical model with low gas density and high volume filling factor. For a typical galaxy withM200m= 1010.9M(median of the sample), our model predicts a cool gas mass ofMCGM,cool∼ 108.4M, corresponding to ∼2% of the galaxy’s baryonic budget. Assuming a metallicity of 0.3 Z, we estimate that the dwarf galaxy’s cool CGM likely harbors ∼10% of the metals ever produced, with the rest either in more ionized states in the CGM or transported to the intergalactic medium. We further examine the EAGLE simulation and show that Hiand low ions may arise from a dense cool medium, while Civarises from a diffuse warmer medium. Our work provides the community with a uniform data set on dwarf galaxies’ CGM that combines our recent observations, additional archival data and literature compilation, which can be used to test various theoretical models of dwarf galaxies.

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  3. Abstract

    Dwarf galaxies located in extremely underdense cosmic voids are excellent test beds for disentangling the effects of large-scale environments on galaxy formation and evolution. We present the first results of the Dwarfs in Void Environments Survey, which has obtained integral field spectroscopy for low-mass galaxies (M= 107–109M) located inside (N= 21) and outside (N= 9) cosmic voids using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager. Using measurements of stellar line-of-sight rotational velocityvrotand velocity dispersionσ, we test the tidal stirring hypothesis, which posits that dwarf spheroidal galaxies are formed through tidal interactions with more massive host galaxies. We measure low values ofvrot/σ≲ 2 for our sample of isolated dwarf galaxies, and we find no trend betweenvrot/σand the distance from a massive galaxydLout todL10Mpc. These suggest that dwarf galaxies can become dispersion-supported, “puffy” systems even in the absence of environmental effects like tidal interactions. We also find indications of an upward trend betweenvrot/σand galaxy stellar mass, perhaps implying that stellar disk formation depends on mass rather than environment. Although some of our conclusions may be slightly modified by systematic effects, our main result still holds: that isolated low-mass galaxies may form and remain as puffy systems rather than the dynamically cold disks predicted by classical galaxy formation theory.

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  4. Abstract

    The Halo Assembly in Lambda Cold Dark Matter: Observations in 7 Dimensions (HALO7D) survey measures the kinematics and chemical properties of stars in the Milky Way (MW) stellar halo to learn about the formation of our Galaxy. HALO7D consists of Keck II/DEIMOS spectroscopy and Hubble Space Telescope–measured proper motions of MW halo main-sequence turnoff stars in the four Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey fields. HALO7D consists of deep pencil beams, making it complementary to other contemporary wide-field surveys. We present the [Fe/H] and [α/Fe] abundances for 113 HALO7D stars in the Galactocentric radial range of ∼10–40 kpc along four separate pointings. Using the full 7D chemodynamical data (3D positions, 3D velocities, and abundances) of HALO7D, we measure the velocity anisotropy,β, of the halo velocity ellipsoid for each field and for different metallicity-binned subsamples. We find that two of the four fields have stars on very radial orbits, while the remaining two have stars on more isotropic orbits. Separating the stars into high-, mid-, and low-[Fe/H] bins at −2.2 and −1.1 dex for each field separately, we find differences in the anisotropies between the fields and between the bins; some fields appear dominated by radial orbits in all bins, while other fields show variation between the [Fe/H] bins. These chemodynamical differences are evidence that the HALO7D fields have different fractional contributions from the progenitors that built up the MW stellar halo. Our results highlight the additional information available on smaller spatial scales compared to results from a spherical average of the stellar halo.

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  5. Abstract We describe the discovery of a solar neighborhood ( d = 468 pc) binary system with a main-sequence sunlike star and a massive noninteracting black hole candidate. The spectral energy distribution of the visible star is described by a single stellar model. We derive stellar parameters from a high signal-to-noise Magellan/MIKE spectrum, classifying the star as a main-sequence star with T eff = 5972 K, log g = 4.54 , and M = 0.91 M ⊙ . The spectrum shows no indication of a second luminous component. To determine the spectroscopic orbit of the binary, we measured the radial velocities of this system with the Automated Planet Finder, Magellan, and Keck over four months. We show that the velocity data are consistent with the Gaia astrometric orbit and provide independent evidence for a massive dark companion. From a combined fit of our spectroscopic data and the astrometry, we derive a companion mass of 11.39 − 1.31 + 1.51 M ⊙ . We conclude that this binary system harbors a massive black hole on an eccentric ( e = 0.46 ± 0.02), 185.4 ± 0.1 day orbit. These conclusions are independent of El-Badry et al., who recently reported the discovery of the same system. A joint fit to all available data yields a comparable period solution but a lower companion mass of 9.32 − 0.21 + 0.22 M ⊙ . Radial velocity fits to all available data produce a unimodal solution for the period that is not possible with either data set alone. The combination of both data sets yields the most accurate orbit currently available. 
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  6. 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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  7. Abstract

    We use medium- and high-resolution spectroscopy of close pairs of quasars to analyze the circumgalactic medium (CGM) surrounding 32 damped Lyαabsorption systems (DLAs). The primary quasar sightline in each pair probes an intervening DLA in the redshift range 1.6 <zabs< 3.5, such that the secondary sightline probes absorption from Lyαand a large suite of metal-line transitions (including Oi, Cii, Civ, Siii, and Siiv) in the DLA host galaxy’s CGM at transverse distances 24 kpc ≤R≤ 284 kpc. Analysis of Lyαin the CGM sightlines shows an anticorrelation betweenRand Hicolumn density (NHI) with 99.8% confidence, similar to that observed around luminous galaxies. The incidences of Ciiand SiiiwithN> 1013cm−2within 100 kpc of DLAs are larger by 2σthan those measured in the CGM of Lyman break galaxies (Cf(NCII) > 0.89 andCf(NSiII)=0.750.17+0.12). Metallicity constraints derived from ionic ratios for nine CGM systems with negligible ionization corrections andNHI> 1018.5cm−2show a significant degree of scatter (with metallicities/limits across the range2.06logZ/Z0.75), suggesting inhomogeneity in the metal distribution in these environments. Velocity widths of Civλ1548 and low-ionization metal species in the DLA versus CGM sightlines are strongly (>2σ) correlated, suggesting that they trace the potential well of the host halo overR≲ 300 kpc scales. At the same time, velocity centroids for Civλ1548 differ in DLA versus CGM sightlines by >100 km s−1for ∼50% of velocity components, but few components have velocities that would exceed the escape velocity assuming dark matter host halos of ≥1012M.

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  8. Abstract We place empirical constraints on the yields from zero- and low-metallicity core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe) using abundances measured in very metal-poor (VMP; [Fe/H] ≤ −2) damped Ly α absorbers (DLAs). For some abundance ratios ([N,Al,S/Fe]), VMP DLAs constrain the metal yields of the first SNe more reliably than VMP stars. We compile a large sample of high-S/N VMP DLAs from over 30 yr of literature, most with high-resolution spectral measurements. We infer the initial-mass-function-averaged CCSNe yield from the median values from the DLA abundance ratios of C, N, O, Al, Si, S, and Fe (over Fe and O). We assume that the DLAs are metal-poor enough that they represent galaxies in their earliest stages of evolution, when CCSNe are the only nucleosynthetic sources of the metals we analyze. We compare five sets of zero- and low-metallicity theoretical yields to the empirical yields derived in this work. We find that the five models agree with the DLA yields for ratios containing Si and S. Only one model (Heger & Woosley 2010, hereafter HW10) reproduced the DLA values for N, and one other model (Limongi & Chieffi 2018, hereafter LC18) reproduced [N/O]. We found little change in the theoretical yields with the adoption of an SN explosion landscape (where certain progenitor masses collapse into black holes, contributing no yields) onto HW10, but fixing explosion energy to progenitor mass results in wide disagreements between the predictions and DLA abundances. We investigate the adoption of a simple, observationally motivated initial distribution of rotational velocities for LC18 and find a slight improvement. 
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  9. Abstract

    We present the lifetime star formation histories (SFHs) for six ultrafaint dwarf (UFD;MV> − 7.0,4.9<log10(M*(z=0)/M)<5.5) satellite galaxies of M31 based on deep color–magnitude diagrams constructed from Hubble Space Telescope imaging. These are the first SFHs obtained from the oldest main-sequence turnoff of UFDs outside the halo of the Milky Way (MW). We find that five UFDs formed at least 50% of their stellar mass byz= 5 (12.6 Gyr ago), similar to known UFDs around the MW, but that 10%–40% of their stellar mass formed at later times. We uncover one remarkable UFD, Andxiii, which formed only 10% of its stellar mass byz= 5, and 75% in a rapid burst atz∼ 2–3, a result that is robust to choices of underlying stellar model and is consistent with its predominantly red horizontal branch. This “young” UFD is the first of its kind and indicates that not all UFDs are necessarily quenched by reionization, which is consistent with predictions from several cosmological simulations of faint dwarf galaxies. SFHs of the combined MW and M31 samples suggest reionization did not homogeneously quench UFDs. We find that the least-massive MW UFDs (M*(z= 5) ≲ 5 × 104M) are likely quenched by reionization, whereas more-massive M31 UFDs (M*(z= 5) ≳ 105M) may only have their star formation suppressed by reionization and quench at a later time. We discuss these findings in the context of the evolution and quenching of UFDs.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  10. Abstract

    Gravitational lenses can magnify distant galaxies, allowing us to discover and characterize the stellar populations of intrinsically faint, quiescent galaxies that are otherwise extremely difficult to directly observe at high redshift from ground-based telescopes. Here, we present the spectral analysis of two lensed, quiescent galaxies atz≳ 1 discovered by theASTRO 3D Galaxy Evolution with Lensessurvey:AGEL1323 (M*∼ 1011.1M,z= 1.016,μ∼ 14.6) andAGEL0014 (M*∼ 1011.5M,z= 1.374,μ∼ 4.3). We measured the age, [Fe/H], and [Mg/Fe] of the two lensed galaxies using deep, rest-frame-optical spectra (S/N ≳40 Å−1) obtained on the Keck I telescope. The ages ofAGEL1323 andAGEL0014 are5.60.8+0.8Gyr and3.10.3+0.8Gyr, respectively, indicating that most of the stars in the galaxies were formed less than 2 Gyr after the Big Bang. Compared to nearby quiescent galaxies of similar masses, the lensed galaxies have lower [Fe/H] and [Mg/H]. Surprisingly, the two galaxies have comparable [Mg/Fe] to similar-mass galaxies at lower redshifts, despite their old ages. Using a simple analytic chemical evolution model connecting the instantaneously recycled element Mg with the mass-loading factors of outflows averaged over the entire star formation history, we found that the lensed galaxies may have experienced enhanced outflows during their star formation compared to lower-redshift galaxies, which may explain why they quenched early.

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