skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Norris, J. E."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. ABSTRACT

    We investigate the distribution of the lithium abundances, A(Li), of metal-poor dwarf and subgiant stars within the limits 5500 K < Teff < 6700 K, −6.0 < [Fe/H] < −1.5, and log  g ≳ 3.5 (a superset of parameters first adopted by Spite and Spite), using literature data for some 200 stars. We address the problem of the several methods that yield Teff differences up to 350 K, and hence uncertainties of 0.3 dex in [Fe/H] and A(Li), by anchoring Teff to the infrared flux method. We seek to understand the behaviour of A(Li) as a function of [Fe/H] – small dispersion at highest [Fe/H], ‘meltdown’ at intermediate values (i.e. large spread in Li below the Spite Plateau), and extreme variations at lowest [Fe/H]. Decreasing A(Li) is accompanied by increasing dispersion. Insofar as [Fe/H] increases as the Universe ages, the behaviour of A(Li) reflects chaotic star formation involving destruction of primordial Li, which settles to the classic Spite Plateau, with A(Li) ∼ 2.3, by the time the Galactic halo reaches [Fe/H] ∼ −3.0. We consider three phases: (1) first star formation in C-rich environments ([C/Fe] > 2.3), with depleted Li; (2) silicates-dominated star formation and destruction of primordial Li during pre-main-sequence evolution; and (3) materials from these two phases co-existing and coalescing to form C-rich stars with A(Li) below the Spite Plateau, leading to a toy model with the potential to explain the ‘meltdown’. We comment on the results of Mucciarelli et al. on the Lower RGB, and the suggestion of Aguado et al. favouring a lower primordial lithium abundance than generally accepted.

     
    more » « less
  2. ABSTRACT

    Using spectra obtained with the VLT/FORS2 and Gemini-S/GMOS-S instruments, we have investigated carbon, nitrogen, and sodium abundances in a sample of red giant members of the Small Magellanic Cloud star cluster Kron 3. The metallicity and luminosity of the cluster are comparable to those of Galactic globular clusters but it is notably younger (age ≈ 6.5 Gyr). We have measured the strengths of the CN and CH molecular bands, finding a bimodal CN band-strength distribution and a CH/CN anticorrelation. Application of spectrum synthesis techniques reveals that the difference in the mean [N/Fe] and [C/Fe] values for the CN-strong and CN-weak stars are Δ <[N/Fe]> = 0.63 ± 0.16 dex and Δ <[C/Fe]> = −0.01 ± 0.07 dex after applying corrections for evolutionary mixing. We have also measured sodium abundances from the Na D lines finding an observed range in [Na/Fe] of ∼0.6 dex that correlates positively with the [N/Fe] values and a Δ <[Na/Fe]> = 0.12 ± 0.12 dex. While the statistical significance of the sodium abundance difference is not high, the observed correlation between the Na and N abundances supports its existence. The outcome represents the first star-by-star demonstration of correlated abundance variations involving sodium in an intermediate-age star cluster. The results add to existing photometric and spectroscopic indications of the presence of multiple populations in intermediate-age clusters with masses in excess of ∼105 M⊙. It confirms that the mechanism(s) responsible for the multiple populations in ancient globular clusters cannot solely be an early cosmological effect applying only in old clusters.

     
    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT We present chemical abundances for 21 elements (from Li to Eu) in 150 metal-poor Galactic stars spanning −4.1 < [Fe/H] < −2.1. The targets were selected from the SkyMapper survey and include 90 objects with [Fe/H] ≤ −3 of which some 15 have [Fe/H] ≤ −3.5. When combining the sample with our previous studies, we find that the metallicity distribution function has a power-law slope of Δ(log N)/Δ[Fe/H] = 1.51 ± 0.01 dex per dex over the range −4 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ −3. With only seven carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars in the sample, we again find that the selection of metal-poor stars based on SkyMapper filters is biased against highly carbon-rich stars for [Fe/H] > −3.5. Of the 20 objects for which we could measure nitrogen, 11 are nitrogen-enhanced metal-poor (NEMP) stars. Within our sample, the high NEMP fraction (55 per cent ± 21 per cent) is compatible with the upper range of predicted values (between 12 per cent and 35 per cent). The chemical abundance ratios [X/Fe] versus [Fe/H] exhibit similar trends to previous studies of metal-poor stars and Galactic chemical evolution models. We report the discovery of nine new r-I stars, four new r-II stars, one of which is the most metal-poor known, nine low-α stars with [α/Fe] ≤ 0.15 as well as one unusual star with [Zn/Fe] = +1.4 and [Sr/Fe] = +1.2 but with normal [Ba/Fe]. Finally, we combine our sample with literature data to provide the most extensive view of the early chemical enrichment of the Milky Way Galaxy. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT In this work, we combine spectroscopic information from the SkyMapper survey for Extremely Metal-Poor stars and astrometry from Gaia DR2 to investigate the kinematics of a sample of 475 stars with a metallicity range of $-6.5 \le \rm [Fe/H] \le -2.05$ dex. Exploiting the action map, we identify 16 and 40 stars dynamically consistent with the Gaia Sausage and Gaia Sequoia accretion events, respectively. The most metal poor of these candidates have metallicities of $\rm [Fe/H]=-3.31\, \mathrm{ and }\, -3.74$, respectively, helping to define the low-metallicity tail of the progenitors involved in the accretion events. We also find, consistent with other studies, that ∼21 per cent of the sample have orbits that remain confined to within 3 kpc of the Galactic plane, that is, |Zmax| ≤ 3 kpc. Of particular interest is a subsample (∼11 per cent of the total) of low |Zmax| stars with low eccentricities and prograde motions. The lowest metallicity of these stars has [Fe/H] = –4.30 and the subsample is best interpreted as the very low-metallicity tail of the metal-weak thick disc population. The low |Zmax|, low eccentricity stars with retrograde orbits are likely accreted, while the low |Zmax|, high eccentricity pro- and retrograde stars are plausibly associated with the Gaia Sausage system. We find that a small fraction of our sample (∼4 per cent of the total) is likely escaping from the Galaxy, and postulate that these stars have gained energy from gravitational interactions that occur when infalling dwarf galaxies are tidally disrupted. 
    more » « less
  5. ABSTRACT We present and discuss the results of a search for extremely metal-poor stars based on photometry from data release DR1.1 of the SkyMapper imaging survey of the southern sky. In particular, we outline our photometric selection procedures and describe the low-resolution (R ≈ 3000) spectroscopic follow-up observations that are used to provide estimates of effective temperature, surface gravity, and metallicity ([Fe/H]) for the candidates. The selection process is very efficient: of the 2618 candidates with low-resolution spectra that have photometric metallicity estimates less than or equal to −2.0, 41 per cent have [Fe/H] ≤ −2.75 and only approximately seven per cent have [Fe/H] > −2.0 dex. The most metal-poor candidate in the sample has [Fe/H] < −4.75 and is notably carbon rich. Except at the lowest metallicities ([Fe/H] < −4), the stars observed spectroscopically are dominated by a ‘carbon-normal’ population with [C/Fe]1D, LTE ≤ +1 dex. Consideration of the A(C)1D, LTE versus [Fe/H]1D, LTE diagram suggests that the current selection process is strongly biased against stars with A(C)1D, LTE > 7.3 (predominantly CEMP-s) while any bias against stars with A(C)1D, LTE < 7.3 and [C/Fe]1D,LTE > +1 (predominantly CEMP-no) is not readily quantifiable given the uncertainty in the SkyMapper v-band DR1.1 photometry. We find that the metallicity distribution function of the observed sample has a power-law slope of Δ(Log N)/Δ[Fe/H] = 1.5 ± 0.1 dex per dex for −4.0 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ −2.75, but appears to drop abruptly at [Fe/H] ≈ −4.2, in line with previous studies. 
    more » « less
  6. ABSTRACT We report the discovery of SMSS J160540.18−144323.1, a new ultra metal-poor halo star discovered with the SkyMapper telescope. We measure $\left[\rm {Fe}/\rm {H}\right]= -6.2 \pm 0.2$ (1D LTE), the lowest ever detected abundance of iron in a star. The star is strongly carbon-enhanced, $\left[\rm {C}/\rm {Fe}\right] = 3.9 \pm 0.2$, while other abundances are compatible with an α-enhanced solar-like pattern with $\left[\rm {Ca}/\rm {Fe}\right] = 0.4 \pm 0.2$, $\left[\rm {Mg}/\rm {Fe}\right] = 0.6 \pm 0.2$, $\left[\rm {Ti}/\rm {Fe}\right] = 0.8 \pm 0.2$, and no significant s- or r-process enrichment, $\left[\rm {Sr}/\rm {Fe}\right] \lt 0.2$ and $\left[\rm {Ba}/\rm {Fe}\right] \lt 1.0$ (3σ limits). Population III stars exploding as fallback supernovae may explain both the strong carbon enhancement and the apparent lack of enhancement of odd-Z and neutron-capture element abundances. Grids of supernova models computed for metal-free progenitor stars yield good matches for stars of about $10\, \rm M_\odot$ imparting a low kinetic energy on the supernova ejecta, while models for stars more massive than roughly $20\, \rm M_\odot$ are incompatible with the observed abundance pattern. 
    more » « less