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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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  2. 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
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  6. Abstract The eighteenth data release (DR18) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is the first one for SDSS-V, the fifth generation of the survey. SDSS-V comprises three primary scientific programs or “Mappers”: the Milky Way Mapper (MWM), the Black Hole Mapper (BHM), and the Local Volume Mapper. This data release contains extensive targeting information for the two multiobject spectroscopy programs (MWM and BHM), including input catalogs and selection functions for their numerous scientific objectives. We describe the production of the targeting databases and their calibration and scientifically focused components. DR18 also includes ∼25,000 new SDSS spectra and supplemental information for X-ray sources identified by eROSITA in its eFEDS field. We present updates to some of the SDSS software pipelines and preview changes anticipated for DR19. We also describe three value-added catalogs (VACs) based on SDSS-IV data that have been published since DR17, and one VAC based on the SDSS-V data in the eFEDS field. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  7. Abstract

    We apply a novel statistical analysis to measurements of 16 elemental abundances in 34,410 Milky Way disk stars from the final data release (DR17) of APOGEE-2. Building on recent work, we fit median abundance ratio trends [X/Mg] versus [Mg/H] with a 2-process model, which decomposes abundance patterns into a “prompt” component tracing core-collapse supernovae and a “delayed” component tracing Type Ia supernovae. For each sample star, we fit the amplitudes of these two components, then compute the residuals Δ[X/H] from this two-parameter fit. The rms residuals range from ∼0.01–0.03 dex for the most precisely measured APOGEE abundances to ∼0.1 dex for Na, V, and Ce. Thecorrelationsof residuals reveal a complex underlying structure, including a correlated element group comprised of Ca, Na, Al, K, Cr, and Ce and a separate group comprised of Ni, V, Mn, and Co. Selecting stars poorly fit by the 2-process model reveals a rich variety of physical outliers and sometimes subtle measurement errors. Residual abundances allow for the comparison of populations controlled for differences in metallicity and [α/Fe]. Relative to the main disk (R= 3–13 kpc), we find nearly identical abundance patterns in the outer disk (R= 15–17 kpc), 0.05–0.2 dex depressions of multiple elements in LMC and Gaia Sausage/Enceladus stars, and wild deviations (0.4–1 dex) of multiple elements inωCen. The residual abundance analysis opens new opportunities for discovering chemically distinctive stars and stellar populations, for empirically constraining nucleosynthetic yields, and for testing chemical evolution models that include stochasticity in the production and redistribution of elements.

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