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    RR Lyrae stars play a central role in tracing phase-space structures within the Milky Way because they are easy to identify, are relatively luminous, and are found in large numbers in the Galactic bulge, disc, and halo. In this work, we present a new set of spectroscopic metallicity calibrations that use the equivalent widths of the Ca ii K and Balmer H γ and H δ lines to calculate metallicity values from low-resolution spectra. This builds on an earlier calibration from Layden by extending the range of equivalent widths which map between Ca ii K and the Balmer lines. We have developed the software rrlfe to apply this calibration to spectra in a consistent, reproducible, and extensible manner. This software is open-source and available to the community. The calibration can be updated with additional data sets in the future.

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  2. Abstract

    We present the stellar parameters and chemical abundances of 30 elements for five stars located at large radii (3.5–10.7 times the half-light radius) in the Sextans dwarf spheroidal galaxy. We selected these stars using proper motions, radial velocities, and metallicities, and we confirm them as metal-poor members of Sextans with −3.34 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ −2.64 using high-resolution optical spectra collected with the Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle spectrograph. Four of the five stars exhibit normal abundances of C (−0.34 ≤ [C/Fe] ≤ + 0.36), mild enhancement of theαelements Mg, Si, Ca, and Ti ([α/Fe] = +0.12 ± 0.03), and unremarkable abundances of Na, Al, K, Sc, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, and Zn. We identify three chemical signatures previously unknown among stars in Sextans. One star exhibits large overabundances ([X/Fe] > +1.2) of C, N, O, Na, Mg, Si, and K, and large deficiencies of heavy elements ([Sr/Fe] = −2.37 ± 0.25, [Ba/Fe] = −1.45 ± 0.20, [Eu/Fe] < + 0.05), establishing it as a member of the class of carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars with no enhancement of neutron-capture elements. Three stars exhibit moderate enhancements of Eu (+0.17 ≤ [Eu/Fe] ≤ + 0.70), and the abundance ratios among 12 neutron-capture elements are indicative ofr-process nucleosynthesis. Another star is highly enhanced in Sr relative to heavier elements ([Sr/Ba] = +1.21 ± 0.25). These chemical signatures can all be attributed to massive, low-metallicity stars or their end states. Our results, the first for stars at large radius inSextans, demonstrate that these stars were formed in chemically inhomogeneous regions, such as those found in ultra-faint dwarf galaxies.

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  3. Abstract We present stellar parameters and abundances of 13 elements for 18 very metal-poor (VMP; [Fe/H] < –2.0) stars, selected as extremely metal-poor (EMP; [Fe/H] < –3.0) candidates from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Large sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope survey. High-resolution spectroscopic observations were performed using GEMINI-N/GRACES. We find 10 EMP stars among our candidates, and we newly identify three carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars with [Ba/Fe] < 0. Although chemical abundances of our VMP/EMP stars generally follow the overall trend of other Galactic halo stars, there are a few exceptions. One Na-rich star ([Na/Fe] = +1.14) with low [Mg/Fe] suggests a possible chemical connection with second-generation stars in a globular cluster. The progenitor of an extremely Na-poor star ([Na/Fe] = –1.02) with high K- and Ni-abundance ratios may have undergone a distinct nucleosynthesis episode, associated with core-collapse supernovae (SNe) having a high explosion energy. We have also found a Mg-rich star ([Mg/Fe] = +0.73) with slightly enhanced Na and extremely low [Ba/Fe], indicating that its origin is not associated with neutron-capture events. On the other hand, the origin of the lowest Mg abundance ([Mg/Fe] = –0.61) star could be explained by accretion from a dwarf galaxy, or formation in a gas cloud largely polluted by SNe Ia. We have also explored the progenitor masses of our EMP stars by comparing their chemical-abundance patterns with those predicted by Population III SNe models, and find a mass range of 10–26 M ⊙ , suggesting that such stars were primarily responsible for the chemical enrichment of the early Milky Way. 
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  4. Abstract We construct a sample of 644 carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars with abundance analyses based on moderate- to high-resolution spectroscopic studies. Dynamical parameters for these stars are estimated based on radial velocities, Bayesian parallax-based distance estimates, and proper motions from Gaia EDR3 and DR3, supplemented by additional available information where needed. After separating our sample into the different CEMP morphological groups in the Yoon–Beers diagram of absolute carbon abundance versus metallicity, we used the derived specific energies and actions ( E , J r , J ϕ , J z ) to cluster them into Chemodynamically Tagged Groups (CDTGs). We then analyzed the elemental-abundance dispersions within these clusters by comparing them to the dispersion of clusters that were generated at random. We find that, for the Group I (primarily CEMP- s and CEMP- r / s ) clustered stars, there exist statistically insignificant intracluster dispersions in [Fe/H], [C/Fe] c (evolution corrected carbon), and [Mg/Fe] when compared to the intracluster dispersions of randomly clustered Group I CEMP stars. In contrast, the Group II (primarily CEMP-no) stars exhibit clear similarities in their intracluster abundances, with very low, statistically significant, dispersions in [C/Fe] c and marginally significant results in [Mg/Fe]. These results strongly indicate that Group I CEMP stars received their carbon enhancements from local phenomena, such as mass transfer from an evolved binary companion in regions with extended star formation histories, while the CDTGs of Group II CEMP stars formed in low-metallicity environments that had already been enriched in carbon, likely from massive rapidly rotating ultra- and hyper-metal-poor stars and/or supernovae associated with high-mass early-generation stars. 
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  5. 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 present a high-resolution (R ∼ 35 000), high signal-to-noise (S/N = 350) Magellan/MIKE spectrum of the bright extremely metal-poor star 2MASS J1808−5104. We find [Fe/H] = −4.01 (spectroscopic LTE stellar parameters), [Fe/H] = −3.8 (photometric stellar parameters), and [Fe/H] = −3.7 (spectroscopic NLTE stellar parameters). We measured a carbon-to-iron ratio of [C/Fe] = 0.38 from the CH G-band. J1808−5104 is thus not carbon-enhanced, contrary to many other stars with similarly low-iron abundances. We also determine, for the first time, a barium abundance ([Ba/Fe] = −0.78), and obtain a significantly reduced upper limit for the nitrogen abundance ([N/Fe] < −0.2). For its [Ba/Fe] abundance, J1808−5104 has a lower [Sr/Ba] ratio compared to other stars, consistent with behaviour of stars in ultra-faint dwarf galaxies. We also fit the abundance pattern of J1808−5104 with nucleosynthesis yields from a grid of Population III supernova models. There is a good fit to the abundance pattern that suggests J1808−5104 originated from gas enriched by a single massive supernova with a high explosion energy of E = 10 × 1051 erg and a progenitor stellar mass of M = 29.5 M⊙. Interestingly, J1808−5104 is a member of the Galactic thin disc, as confirmed by our detailed kinematic analysis and calculated stellar actions and velocities. Finally, we also established the orbital history of J1808−5104 using our time-dependent Galactic potential the ORIENT. J1808−5104 appears to have a stable quasi-circular orbit and been largely confined to the thin disc. This unique orbital history, the star’s very old age (∼13.5 Gyr), and the low [C/Fe] and [Sr/Ba] ratios suggest that J1808−5104 may have formed at the earliest epoch of the hierarchical assembly of the Milky Way, and it is most likely associated with the primordial thin disc.

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    Carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars are a unique resource for Galactic archaeology because they probe the properties of the First Stars, early chemical evolution, and binary interactions at very low metallicity. Comparing the fractions and properties of CEMP stars in different Galactic environments can provide us with unique insights into the formation and evolution of the Milky Way halo and its building blocks. In this work, we investigate whether directly comparing fractions of CEMP stars from different literature samples of very metal-poor ($\rm {[Fe/H]}\,\lt\, -2.0$) stars is valid. We compiled published CEMP fractions and samples of Galactic halo stars from the past 25 years, and find that they are not all consistent with each other. Focusing on giant stars, we find significant differences between various surveys when comparing their trends of [Fe/H] versus [C/Fe] and their distributions of CEMP stars. To test the role of the analysis pipelines for low-resolution spectroscopic samples, we re-analysed giant stars from various surveys with the sspp and ferre pipelines. We found systematic differences in [C/Fe] of ∼0.1−0.4 dex, partly independent of degeneracies with the stellar atmospheric parameters. These systematics are likely due to the different pipeline approaches, different assumptions in the employed synthetic grids, and/or the comparison of different evolutionary phases. We conclude that current biases in (the analysis of) very metal-poor samples limit the conclusions one can draw from comparing different surveys. We provide some recommendations and suggestions that will hopefully aid the community to unlock the full potential of CEMP stars for Galactic archaeology.

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  8. Abstract

    We present results from high-resolution (R∼ 40,000) spectroscopic observations of over 200 metal-poor stars, mostly selected from the RAVE survey, using the Southern African Large Telescope. We were able to derive stellar parameters for a total of 108 stars; an additional sample of 50 stars from this same effort was previously reported on by Rasmussen et al. Among our newly reported observations, we identify 84 very metal-poor (VMP; [Fe/H] < −2.0, 53 newly identified) stars and three extremely metal-poor (EMP; [Fe/H] < −3.0, one newly identified) stars. The elemental abundances were measured for carbon, as well as several otherα-elements (Mg, Ca, Sc, and Ti), iron-peak elements (Mn, Co, Ni, and Zn), and neutron-capture elements (Sr, Ba, and Eu). Based on these measurements, the stars are classified by their carbon and neutron-capture abundances into carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP; [C/Fe] > +0.70), CEMP subclasses, and by the level of theirr-process abundances. A total of 17 are classified as CEMP stars. There are 11 CEMP-rstars (eight newly identified), one CEMP-sstar (newly identified), two possible CEMP-istars (one newly identified), and three CEMP-no stars (all newly identified) in this work. We found 11 stars (eight newly identified) that are strongly enhanced inr-process elements (r-II; [Eu/Fe] > +0.70), 38 stars (31 newly identified) that are moderately enhanced inr-process elements (r-I; +0.30 < [Eu/Fe] ≤ + 0.70), and one newly identified limited-rstar.

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  9. Abstract We present a nearly complete rapid neutron-capture process ( r -process) chemical inventory of the metal-poor ([Fe/H] = −1.46 ± 0.10) r -process-enhanced ([Eu/Fe] = +1.32 ± 0.08) halo star HD 222925. This abundance set is the most complete for any object beyond the solar system, with a total of 63 metals detected and seven with upper limits. It comprises 42 elements from 31 ≤ Z ≤ 90, including elements rarely detected in r -process-enhanced stars, such as Ga, Ge, As, Se, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Te, W, Re, Os, Ir, Pt, and Au. We derive these abundances from an analysis of 404 absorption lines in ultraviolet spectra collected using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope and previously analyzed optical spectra. A series of appendices discusses the atomic data and quality of fits for these lines. The r -process elements from Ba to Pb, including all elements at the third r -process peak, exhibit remarkable agreement with the solar r -process residuals, with a standard deviation of the differences of only 0.08 dex (17%). In contrast, deviations among the lighter elements from Ga to Te span nearly 1.4 dex, and they show distinct trends from Ga to Se, Nb through Cd, and In through Te. The r -process contribution to Ga, Ge, and As is small, and Se is the lightest element whose production is dominated by the r -process. The lanthanide fraction, log X La = −1.39 ± 0.09, is typical for r -process-enhanced stars and higher than that of the kilonova from the GW170817 neutron-star merger event. We advocate adopting this pattern as an alternative to the solar r -process-element residuals when confronting future theoretical models of heavy-element nucleosynthesis with observations. 
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  10. null (Ed.)