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    Previous results in the literature have found the young inner-disc open cluster NGC 6705 to be mildly α-enhanced. We examined this possibility via an independent chemical abundance analysis for 11 red-giant members of NGC 6705. The analysis is based on near-infrared APOGEE spectra and relies on LTE calculations using spherical model atmospheres and radiative transfer. We find a mean cluster metallicity of $\rm [Fe/H] = +0.13 \pm 0.04$, indicating that NGC 6705 is metal-rich, as may be expected for a young inner-disc cluster. The mean α-element abundance relative to iron is $\rm \langle [\alpha /Fe]\rangle =-0.03 \pm 0.05$, which is not at odds with expectations from general Galactic abundance trends. NGC 6705 also provides important probes for studying stellar mixing, given its turn-off mass of M ∼ 3.3 M⊙. Its red giants have low 12C abundances ([12C/Fe] = −0.16) and enhanced 14N abundances ([14N/Fe] = +0.51), which are key signatures of the first dredge-up on the red giant branch. An additional signature of dredge-up was found in the Na abundances, which are enhanced by [Na/Fe] = +0.29, with a very small non-LTE correction. The 16O and Al abundances are found to be near-solar. All of the derived mixing-sensitive abundances are in agreement with stellar models of approximately 3.3 M⊙ evolving along the red giant branch and onto the red clump. As found in young open clusters with similar metallicities, NGC 6705 exhibits a mild excess in the s-process element cerium with $\rm [Ce/Fe] = +0.13\pm 0.07$.

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  2. Abstract We report 23 stars having Galactocentric velocities larger than 450 km s −1 in the final data release of the APOGEE survey. This sample was generated using space velocities derived by complementing the high-quality radial velocities from the APOGEE project in Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s Data Release 17 (DR17) with distances and proper motions from Gaia early Data Release 3 (eDR3). We analyze the observed kinematics and derived dynamics of these stars, considering different potential models for the Galaxy. We find that three stars could be unbound depending on the adopted potential, but in general all of the stars show typical kinematics of halo stars. The APOGEE DR17 spectroscopic results and Gaia eDR3 photometry are used to assess the stellar parameters and chemical properties of the stars. All of the stars belong to the red giant branch, and, in general, they follow the abundance pattern of typical halo stars. There are a few exceptions that would deserve further analysis through high-resolution spectroscopy. In particular, we identify a high-velocity Carbon-Enhanced Metal-Poor star, with a Galactocentric velocity of 482 km s −1 . We do not confirm any hypervelocity star in the sample, but this result is very sensitive to the adopted distances and less sensitive to the Galactic potential. 
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  3. Abstract The APOGEE Open Cluster Chemical Abundances and Mapping survey is used to probe the chemical evolution of the s-process element cerium in the Galactic disk. Cerium abundances were derived from measurements of Ce ii lines in the APOGEE spectra using the Brussels Automatic Code for Characterizing High Accuracy Spectra in 218 stars belonging to 42 open clusters. Our results indicate that, in general, for ages < 4 Gyr, younger open clusters have higher [Ce/Fe] and [Ce/ α -element] ratios than older clusters. In addition, metallicity segregates open clusters in the [Ce/X]–age plane (where X can be H, Fe, or the α -elements O, Mg, Si, or Ca). These metallicity-dependent relations result in [Ce/Fe] and [Ce/ α ] ratios with ages that are not universal clocks. Radial gradients of [Ce/H] and [Ce/Fe] ratios in open clusters, binned by age, were derived for the first time, with d [Ce/H]/ d R GC being negative, while d [Ce/Fe]/ d R GC is positive. [Ce/H] and [Ce/Fe] gradients are approximately constant over time, with the [Ce/Fe] gradient becoming slightly steeper, changing by ∼+0.009 dex kpc −1 Gyr −1 . Both the [Ce/H] and [Ce/Fe] gradients are shifted to lower values of [Ce/H] and [Ce/Fe] for older open clusters. The chemical pattern of Ce in open clusters across the Galactic disk is discussed within the context of s-process yields from asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, gigayear time delays in Ce enrichment of the interstellar medium, and the strong dependence of Ce nucleosynthesis on the metallicity of its AGB stellar sources. 
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  4. We investigate the inner regions of the Milky Way using data from APOGEE and Gaia EDR3. Our inner Galactic sample has more than 26 500 stars within | X Gal |< 5 kpc, | Y Gal |< 3.5 kpc, | Z Gal |< 1 kpc, and we also carry out the analysis for a foreground-cleaned subsample of 8000 stars that is more representative of the bulge–bar populations. These samples allow us to build chemo-dynamical maps of the stellar populations with vastly improved detail. The inner Galaxy shows an apparent chemical bimodality in key abundance ratios [ α /Fe], [C/N], and [Mn/O], which probe different enrichment timescales, suggesting a star formation gap (quenching) between the high- and low- α populations. Using a joint analysis of the distributions of kinematics, metallicities, mean orbital radius, and chemical abundances, we can characterize the different populations coexisting in the innermost regions of the Galaxy for the first time. The chemo-kinematic data dissected on an eccentricity–| Z | max plane reveal the chemical and kinematic signatures of the bar, the thin inner disc, and an inner thick disc, and a broad metallicity population with large velocity dispersion indicative of a pressure-supported component. The interplay between these different populations is mapped onto the different metallicity distributions seen in the eccentricity–| Z | max diagram consistently with the mean orbital radius and V ϕ distributions. A clear metallicity gradient as a function of | Z | max is also found, which is consistent with the spatial overlapping of different populations. Additionally, we find and chemically and kinematically characterize a group of counter-rotating stars that could be the result of a gas-rich merger event or just the result of clumpy star formation during the earliest phases of the early disc that migrated into the bulge. Finally, based on 6D information, we assign stars a probability value of being on a bar orbit and find that most of the stars with large bar orbit probabilities come from the innermost 3 kpc, with a broad dispersion of metallicity. Even stars with a high probability of belonging to the bar show chemical bimodality in the [ α /Fe] versus [Fe/H] diagram. This suggests bar trapping to be an efficient mechanism, explaining why stars on bar orbits do not show a significant, distinct chemical abundance ratio signature. 
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  6. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is the closest and most studied example of an irregular galaxy. Among its principal defining morphological features, its off-centred bar and single spiral arm stand out, defining a whole family of galaxies known as the Magellanic spirals (Sm). These structures are thought to be triggered by tidal interactions and possibly maintained via gas accretion. However, it is still unknown whether they are long-lived stable structures. In this work, by combining photometry that reaches down to the oldest main sequence turn-off in the colour-magnitude diagrams (CMD, up to a distance of ∼4.4 kpc from the LMC centre) from the SMASH survey and CMD fitting techniques, we find compelling evidence supporting the long-term stability of the LMC spiral arm, dating the origin of this structure to more than 2 Gyr ago. The evidence suggests that the close encounter between the LMC and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) that produced the gaseous Magellanic Stream and its Leading Arm also triggered the formation of the LMC’s spiral arm. Given the mass difference between the Clouds and the notable consequences of this interaction, we can speculate that this should have been one of their closest encounters. These results set important constraints on the timing of LMC-SMC collisions, as well as on the physics behind star formation induced by tidal encounters. 
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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  9. Abstract A study of the charge conjugation and parity ( $$\textit{CP}$$ CP ) properties of the interaction between the Higgs boson and $$\tau $$ τ -leptons is presented. The study is based on a measurement of $$\textit{CP}$$ CP -sensitive angular observables defined by the visible decay products of $$\tau $$ τ -leptons produced in Higgs boson decays. The analysis uses 139 fb $$^{-1}$$ - 1 of proton–proton collision data recorded at a centre-of-mass energy of $$\sqrt{s}= 13$$ s = 13  TeV with the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider. Contributions from $$\textit{CP}$$ CP -violating interactions between the Higgs boson and $$\tau $$ τ -leptons are described by a single mixing angle parameter $$\phi _{\tau }$$ ϕ τ in the generalised Yukawa interaction. Without constraining the $$H\rightarrow \tau \tau $$ H → τ τ signal strength to its expected value under the Standard Model hypothesis, the mixing angle $$\phi _{\tau }$$ ϕ τ is measured to be $$9^{\circ } \pm 16^{\circ }$$ 9 ∘ ± 16 ∘ , with an expected value of $$0^{\circ } \pm 28^{\circ }$$ 0 ∘ ± 28 ∘ at the 68% confidence level. The pure $$\textit{CP}$$ CP -odd hypothesis is disfavoured at a level of 3.4 standard deviations. The results are compatible with the predictions for the Higgs boson in the Standard Model. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024