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  1. Abstract The S2 stream is a kinematically cold stream that is plunging downwards through the Galactic disc. It may be part of a hotter and more diffuse structure called the Helmi stream. We present a multi-instrument chemical analysis of the stars in the metal-poor S2 stream using both high- and low-resolution spectroscopy, complemented with a re-analysis of the archival data to give a total sample of 62 S2 members. Our high-resolution program provides α-elements (C, Mg, Si, Ca and Ti), iron-peak elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni), n-capture process elements (Sr, Ba) and other elements such as Li, Na, Al, and Sc for a subsample of S2 objects. We report coherent abundance patterns over a large metallicity spread (∼1 dex) confirming that the S2 stream was produced by a disrupted dwarf galaxy. The combination of S2’s α-elements displays a mildly decreasing trend with increasing metallicity which can be tentatively interpreted as a “knee” at [Fe/H]<−2. At the low metallicity end, the n-capture elements in S2 may be dominated by r-process production however several stars are Ba-enhanced, but unusually poor in Sr. Moreover, some of the low-[Fe/H] stars appear to be carbon-enhanced. We interpret the observed abundance patterns with the help ofmore »chemical evolution models that demonstrate the need for modest star-formation efficiency and low wind efficiency confirming that the progenitor of S2 was a primitive dwarf galaxy.« less
  2. ABSTRACT Using RR Lyrae stars in the Gaia Data Release 2 and Pan-STARRS1 we study the properties of the Pisces overdensity, a diffuse substructure in the outer halo of the Milky Way. We show that along the line of sight, Pisces appears as a broad and long plume of stars stretching from 40 to 110 kpc with a steep distance gradient. On the sky Pisces’s elongated shape is aligned with the Magellanic Stream. Using follow-up VLT FORS2 spectroscopy, we have measured the velocity distribution of the Pisces candidate member stars and have shown it to be as broad as that of the Galactic halo but offset to negative velocities. Using a suite of numerical simulations, we demonstrate that the structure has many properties in common with the predicted behaviour of the Magellanic wake, i.e. the Galactic halo overdensity induced by the infall of the Magellanic Clouds.