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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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    This study presents the results concerning six red giant stars members of the globular cluster NGC 6558. Our analysis utilized high-resolution near-infrared spectra obtained through the CAPOS initiative (the APOgee Survey of Clusters in the Galactic Bulge), which focuses on surveying clusters within the Galactic Bulge, as a component of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment II survey (APOGEE-2). We employ the Brussels Automatic Code for Characterizing High accUracy Spectra (BACCHUS) code to provide line-by-line elemental-abundances for Fe-peak (Fe, Ni), α-(O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti), light-(C, N), odd-Z (Al), and the s-process element (Ce) for the four stars with high-signal-to-noise ratios. This is the first reliable measure of the CNO abundances for NGC 6558. Our analysis yields a mean metallicity for NGC 6558 of 〈[Fe/H]〉 = −1.15 ± 0.08, with no evidence for a metallicity spread. We find a Solar Ni abundance, 〈[Ni/Fe]〉 ∼ +0.01, and a moderate enhancement of α-elements, ranging between +0.16 and <+0.42, and a slight enhancement of the s-process element 〈[Ce/Fe]〉 ∼ +0.19. We also found low levels of 〈[Al/Fe]〉 ∼ +0.09, but with a strong enrichment of nitrogen, [N/Fe] > +0.99, along with a low level of carbon, [C/Fe] < −0.12. This behaviour of Nitrogen-Carbon is a typical chemical signature for the presence of multiple stellar populations in virtually all GCs; this is the first time that it is reported in NGC 6558. We also observed a remarkable consistency in the behaviour of all the chemical species compared to the other CAPOS bulge GCs of the same metallicity.

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  3. ABSTRACT We study the bar pattern speeds and corotation radii of 225 barred galaxies, using integral field unit data from MaNGA and the Tremaine–Weinberg method. Our sample, which is divided between strongly and weakly barred galaxies identified via Galaxy Zoo, is the largest that this method has been applied to. We find lower pattern speeds for strongly barred galaxies than for weakly barred galaxies. As simulations show that the pattern speed decreases as the bar exchanges angular momentum with its host, these results suggest that strong bars are more evolved than weak bars. Interestingly, the corotation radius is not different between weakly and strongly barred galaxies, despite being proportional to bar length. We also find that the corotation radius is significantly different between quenching and star-forming galaxies. Additionally, we find that strongly barred galaxies have significantly lower values for $\mathcal {R}$, the ratio between the corotation radius and the bar radius, than weakly barred galaxies, despite a big overlap in both distributions. This ratio classifies bars into ultrafast bars ($\mathcal {R} \lt $ 1.0; 11 per cent of our sample), fast bars (1.0 $\lt \mathcal {R} \lt $ 1.4; 27 per cent), and slow bars ($\mathcal {R} \gt $ 1.4; 62 per cent). Simulations show that $\mathcal {R}$ is correlated with the bar formation mechanism, so our results suggest that strong bars are more likely to be formed by different mechanisms than weak bars. Finally, we find a lower fraction of ultrafast bars than most other studies, which decreases the recently claimed tension with Lambda cold dark matter. However, the median value of $\mathcal {R}$ is still lower than what is predicted by simulations. 
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    We introduce the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)/ Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) value-added catalogue of Galactic globular cluster (GC) stars. The catalogue is the result of a critical search of the APOGEE Data Release 17 (DR17) catalogue for candidate members of all known Galactic GCs. Candidate members are assigned to various GCs on the basis of position in the sky, proper motion, and radial velocity. The catalogue contains a total of 7737 entries for 6422 unique stars associated with 72 Galactic GCs. Full APOGEE DR17 information is provided, including radial velocities and abundances for up to 20 elements. Membership probabilities estimated on the basis of precision radial velocities are made available. Comparisons with chemical compositions derived from the GALactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH) survey, as well as optical values from the literature, show good agreement. This catalogue represents a significant increase in the public data base of GC star chemical compositions and kinematics, providing a massive homogeneous data set that will enable a variety of studies. The catalogue in fits format is available for public download from the SDSS-IV DR17 value-added catalogue website.

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  5. Abstract

    Stellar streams in the Galactic halo are useful probes of the assembly of galaxies like the Milky Way. Many tidal stellar streams that have been found in recent years are accompanied by a known progenitor globular cluster or dwarf galaxy. However, the Orphan–Chenab (OC) stream is one case where a relatively narrow stream of stars has been found without a known progenitor. In an effort to find the parent of the OC stream, we use astrometry from the early third data release of ESA’s Gaia mission (Gaia EDR3) and radial velocity information from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)-IV Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey to find up to 13 stars that are likely members of the OC stream. We use the APOGEE survey to study the chemical nature (for up to 10 stars) of the OC stream in theα(O, Mg, Ca, Si, Ti, and S), odd-Z(Al, K, and V), Fe-peak (Fe, Ni, Mn, Co, and Cr), and neutron-capture (Ce) elemental groups. We find that the stars that make up the OC stream are not consistent with a monometallic population and have a median metallicity of −1.92 dex with a dispersion of 0.28 dex. Our results also indicate that the α elements are depleted compared to the known Milky Way populations and that its [Mg/Al] abundance ratio is not consistent with second-generation stars from globular clusters. The detailed chemical pattern of these stars, namely the [α/Fe]–[Fe/H] plane and the metallicity distribution, indicates that the OC stream progenitor is very likely to be a dwarf spheroidal galaxy with a mass of ∼106M.

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  6. 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
  7. Context. The recent and exquisite astrometric, photometric, and radial velocity measurements of the Gaia mission resulted in a substantial advancement of the determination of the orbits for old star clusters, including the oldest Milky Way globular clusters (MW GCs). Aims. The main goal of the present paper is to use the new Gaia data release 3 (DR3) and the VISTA Variables in the Via Láctea Extended Survey (VVVX) measurements to obtain the orbits for nearly a dozen new MW GC candidates that have been poorly studied or previously unexplored. Methods. We use the Gaia DR3 and VVVX databases to identify bona fide MW GC candidates, namely VVV-CL160, Patchick 122, Patchick 125, Patchick 126, Kronberger 99, Kronberger 119, Kronberger 143, ESO 92-18, ESO 93-08, Gaia 2, and Ferrero 54. The relevant mean cluster physical parameters are derived (distances, Galactic coordinates, proper motions, radial velocities). We also measure accurate mean radial velocities for the GCs VVV-CL160 and Patchick 126 using observations acquired at the Gemini-South telescope with the Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrometer (IGRINS) high-resolution spectrograph. Orbits for each cluster are then computed using the GravPot16 model, assuming typical Galactic bar pattern speeds. Results. We reconstruct the orbits for these 11 star clusters for the first time. These include star clusters with retrograde and prograde orbital motions, both in the Galactic bulge and disk. We obtain orbital properties for this sample, such as the mean time-variations of perigalactic and apogalactic distances, eccentricities, vertical excursions from the Galactic plane, and Z -components of the angular momentum. Conclusions. Our main conclusion is that, based on the orbital parameters, Patchick 125 and Patchick 126 are genuine MW bulge or halo GCs; and Ferrero 54, Gaia 2, and Patchick 122 are MW disk GCs. In contrast, the orbits of Kronberger 99, Kronberger 119, Kronberger 143, ESO 92-18, and ESO 93-08 are more consistent with old MW disk open clusters, in agreement with previous results. VVV-CL160 falls very close to the Galactic centre, but reaches larger distances beyond the Solar orbit, and therefore its origin is still unclear. 
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    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 kinematics 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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  9. 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 this 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. 
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  10. 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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