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  1. ABSTRACT

    We consider the largest sample of 561 edge-on galaxies observed with integral field units by the MaNGA survey and find 300 galaxies where the ionized gas shows a negative vertical gradient (lag) in its rotational speed. We introduce the stop altitude as the distance to the galactic mid-plane at which the gas rotation should stop in the linear approximation. We find correlations between the lags, stop altitude and galactic mass, stellar velocity dispersion, and overall Sersic index. We do not find any correlation of the lags or stop altitude with the star formation activity in the galaxies. We conclude that low-mass galaxies (log(M*/M⊙) < 10) with low-Sersic index and with low-stellar velocity dispersion possess a wider ‘zone of influence’ in the extragalactic gas surrounding them with respect to higher mass galaxies that have a significant spherical component. We estimated the trend of the vertical rotational gradient with radius and find it flat for most of the galaxies in our sample. A small subsample of galaxies with negative radial gradients of lag has an enhanced fraction of objects with aged low-surface brightness structures around them (e.g. faint shells), which indicates that noticeable accretion events in the past affected the extraplanar gas kinematicsmore »and might have contributed to negative radial lag gradients. We conclude that an isotropic accretion of gas from the circumgalactic medium plays a significant role in the formation of rotation velocity lags.

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  2. Abstract Large-scale surveys open the possibility to investigate Galactic evolution both chemically and kinematically; however, reliable stellar ages remain a major challenge. Detailed chemical information provided by high-resolution spectroscopic surveys of the stars in clusters can be used as a means to calibrate recently developed chemical tools for age-dating field stars. Using data from the Open Cluster Abundances and Mapping survey, based on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey/Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment 2 survey, we derive a new empirical relationship between open cluster stellar ages and the carbon-to-nitrogen ([C/N]) abundance ratios for evolved stars, primarily those on the red giant branch. With this calibration, [C/N] can be used as a chemical clock for evolved field stars to investigate the formation and evolution of different parts of our Galaxy. We explore how mixing effects at different stellar evolutionary phases, like the red clump, affect the derived calibration. We have established the [C/N]–age calibration for APOGEE Data Release 17 (DR17) giant star abundances to be log [ Age ( yr ) ] DR 17 = 10.14 ( ± 0.08 ) + 2.23 ( ± 0.19 ) [ C / N ] , usable for 8.62 ≤ log ( Age [ yrmore »] ) ≤ 9.82 , derived from a uniform sample of 49 clusters observed as part of APOGEE DR17 applicable primarily to metal-rich, thin- and thick-disk giant stars. This measured [C/N]–age APOGEE DR17 calibration is also shown to be consistent with asteroseismic ages derived from Kepler photometry.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 22, 2023
  3. ABSTRACT Using a sample of red giant stars from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) Data Release 16, we infer the conditional distribution $p([\alpha /{\rm Fe}]\, |\, [{\rm Fe}/{\rm H}])$ in the Milky Way disk for the α-elements Mg, O, Si, S, and Ca. In each bin of [Fe/H] and Galactocentric radius R, we model p([α/Fe]) as a sum of two Gaussians, representing ‘low-α’ and ‘high-α’ populations with scale heights $z_1=0.45\, {\rm kpc}$ and $z_2=0.95\, {\rm kpc}$, respectively. By accounting for age-dependent and z-dependent selection effects in APOGEE, we infer the [α/Fe] distributions that would be found for a fair sample of long-lived stars covering all z. Near the Solar circle, this distribution is bimodal at sub-solar [Fe/H], with the low-α and high-α peaks clearly separated by a minimum at intermediate [α/Fe]. In agreement with previous results, we find that the high-α population is more prominent at smaller R, lower [Fe/H], and larger |z|, and that the sequence separation is smaller for Si and Ca than for Mg, O, and S. We find significant intrinsic scatter in [α/Fe] at fixed [Fe/H] for both the low-α and high-α populations, typically ∼0.04-dex. The means, dispersions, and relative amplitudes of thismore »two-Gaussian description, and the dependence of these parameters on R, [Fe/H], and α-element, provide a quantitative target for chemical evolution models and a test for hydrodynamic simulations of disk galaxy formation. We argue that explaining the observed bimodality will probably require one or more sharp transitions in the disk’s gas accretion, star formation, or outflow history in addition to radial mixing of stellar populations.« less
  4. Abstract We report the first 3D kinematical measurements of 88 stars in the direction of several recently discovered substructures in the southern periphery of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using a combination of Gaia proper motions and radial velocities from the APOGEE-2 survey. More specifically, we explore stars in assorted APOGEE-2 pointings in a region of the LMC periphery where various overdensities of stars have previously been identified in maps of stars from Gaia and DECam. By using a model of the LMC disk rotation, we find that a sizable fraction of the APOGEE-2 stars have extreme space velocities that are distinct from, and not a simple extension of, the LMC disk. Using N -body hydrodynamical simulations of the past dynamical evolution and interaction of the LMC and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), we explore whether the extreme-velocity stars may be accounted for as tidal debris created in the course of that interaction. We conclude that the combination of LMC and SMC debris produced from their interaction is a promising explanation, although we cannot rule out other possible origins, and that these new data should be used to constrain future simulations of the LMC–SMC interaction. We also conclude that many ofmore »the stars in the southern periphery of the LMC lie outside of the LMC plane by several kiloparsecs. Given that the metallicity of these stars suggests that they are likely of Magellanic origin, our results suggest that a wider exploration of the past interaction history of the Magellanic Clouds is needed.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. ABSTRACT

    The spatial distribution of mono-abundance populations (MAPs, selected in [Fe/H] and [Mg/Fe]) reflect the chemical and structural evolution in a galaxy and impose strong constraints on galaxy formation models. In this paper, we use APOGEE data to derive the intrinsic density distribution of MAPs in the Milky Way, after carefully considering the survey selection function. We find that a single exponential profile is not a sufficient description of the Milky Way’s disc. Both the individual MAPs and the integrated disc exhibit a broken radial density distribution; densities are relatively constant with radius in the inner Galaxy and rapidly decrease beyond the break radius. We fit the intrinsic density distribution as a function of radius and vertical height with a 2D density model that considers both a broken radial profile and radial variation of scale height (i.e. flaring). There is a large variety of structural parameters between different MAPs, indicative of strong structure evolution of the Milky Way. One surprising result is that high-α MAPs show the strongest flaring. The young, solar-abundance MAPs present the shortest scale height and least flaring, suggesting recent and ongoing star formation confined to the disc plane. Finally we derive the intrinsic density distribution andmore »corresponding structural parameters of the chemically defined thin and thick discs. The chemical thick and thin discs have local surface mass densities of 5.62 ± 0.08 and 15.69 ± 0.32 M⊙pc−2, respectively, suggesting a massive thick disc with a local surface mass density ratio between thick to thin disc of 36 per cent.

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  6. ABSTRACT

    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 ofmore »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. Abstract

    The goal of the Open Cluster Chemical Abundances and Mapping (OCCAM) survey is to constrain key Galactic dynamic and chemical evolution parameters by the construction and analysis of a large, comprehensive, uniform data set of infrared spectra for stars in hundreds of open clusters. This sixth contribution from the OCCAM survey presents analysis of SDSS/APOGEE Data Release 17 (DR17) results for a sample of stars in 150 open clusters, 94 of which we designate to be “high-quality” based on the appearance of their color–magnitude diagram. We find the APOGEE DR17-derived [Fe/H] values to be in good agreement with those from previous high-resolution spectroscopic open cluster abundance studies. Using a subset of the high-quality sample, the Galactic abundance gradients were measured for 16 chemical elements, including [Fe/H], for both Galactocentric radius (RGC) and guiding center radius (Rguide). We find an overall Galactic [Fe/H] versusRGCgradient of −0.073 ± 0.002 dex kpc−1over the range of 6 >RGC< 11.5 kpc, and a similar gradient is found for [Fe/H] versusRguide. Significant Galactic abundance gradients are also noted for O, Mg, S, Ca, Mn, Na, Al, K, and Ce. Our large sample additionally allows us to explore the evolution of the gradients in four agemore »bins for the remaining 15 elements.

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  8. Abstract

    Bars may induce morphological features, such as rings, through their resonances. Previous studies suggested that the presence of “dark gaps,” or regions of a galaxy where the difference between the surface brightness along the bar major axis and that along the bar minor axis is maximal, can be attributed to the location of bar corotation. Here, using GALAKOS, a high-resolutionN-body simulation of a barred galaxy, we test this photometric method’s ability to identify the bar corotation resonance. Contrary to previous work, our results indicate that “dark gaps” are a clear sign of the location of the 4:1 ultraharmonic resonance instead of bar corotation. Measurements of the bar corotation can indirectly be inferred using kinematic information, e.g., by measuring the shape of the rotation curve. We demonstrate our concept on a sample of 578 face-on barred galaxies with both imaging and integral field observations and find that the sample likely consists primarily of fast bars.

  9. Abstract Individual chemical abundances for 14 elements (C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni) are derived for a sample of M dwarfs using high-resolution, near-infrared H -band spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IV/Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey. The quantitative analysis included synthetic spectra computed with 1D LTE plane-parallel MARCS models using the APOGEE Data Release 17 line list to determine chemical abundances. The sample consists of 11 M dwarfs in binary systems with warmer FGK dwarf primaries and 10 measured interferometric angular diameters. To minimize atomic diffusion effects, [X/Fe] ratios are used to compare M dwarfs in binary systems and literature results for their warmer primary stars, indicating good agreement (<0.08 dex) for all studied elements. The mean abundance difference in primaries minus this work’s M dwarfs is −0.05 ± 0.03 dex. It indicates that M dwarfs in binary systems are a reliable way to calibrate empirical relationships. A comparison with abundance, effective temperature, and surface gravity results from the APOGEE Stellar Parameter and Chemical Abundances Pipeline (ASPCAP) Data Release 16 finds a systematic offset of [M/H], T eff , log g = +0.21 dex, −50 K, andmore »0.30 dex, respectively, although ASPCAP [X/Fe] ratios are generally consistent with this study. The metallicities of the M dwarfs cover the range of [Fe/H] = −0.9 to +0.4 and are used to investigate Galactic chemical evolution via trends of [X/Fe] as a function of [Fe/H]. The behavior of the various elemental abundances [X/Fe] versus [Fe/H] agrees well with the corresponding trends derived from warmer FGK dwarfs, demonstrating that the APOGEE spectra can be used to examine Galactic chemical evolution using large samples of selected M dwarfs.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  10. Abstract We apply a novel statistical analysis to measurements of 16 elemental abundances in 34,410 Milky Way disk stars from the final data release (DR17) of APOGEE-2. Building on recent work, we fit median abundance ratio trends [X/Mg] versus [Mg/H] with a 2-process model, which decomposes abundance patterns into a “prompt” component tracing core-collapse supernovae and a “delayed” component tracing Type Ia supernovae. For each sample star, we fit the amplitudes of these two components, then compute the residuals Δ[X/H] from this two-parameter fit. The rms residuals range from ∼0.01–0.03 dex for the most precisely measured APOGEE abundances to ∼0.1 dex for Na, V, and Ce. The correlations of residuals reveal a complex underlying structure, including a correlated element group comprised of Ca, Na, Al, K, Cr, and Ce and a separate group comprised of Ni, V, Mn, and Co. Selecting stars poorly fit by the 2-process model reveals a rich variety of physical outliers and sometimes subtle measurement errors. Residual abundances allow for the comparison of populations controlled for differences in metallicity and [ α /Fe]. Relative to the main disk ( R = 3–13 kpc), we find nearly identical abundance patterns in the outer disk ( R =more »15–17 kpc), 0.05–0.2 dex depressions of multiple elements in LMC and Gaia Sausage/Enceladus stars, and wild deviations (0.4–1 dex) of multiple elements in ω Cen. The residual abundance analysis opens new opportunities for discovering chemically distinctive stars and stellar populations, for empirically constraining nucleosynthetic yields, and for testing chemical evolution models that include stochasticity in the production and redistribution of elements.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023