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  1. Abstract

    The Milky Way has accreted many ultra-faint dwarf galaxies (UFDs), and stars from these galaxies can be found throughout our Galaxy today. Studying these stars provides insight into galaxy formation and early chemical enrichment, but identifying them is difficult. Clustering stellar dynamics in 4D phase space (E,Lz,Jr,Jz) is one method of identifying accreted structure that is currently being utilized in the search for accreted UFDs. We produce 32 simulated stellar halos using particle tagging with the Caterpillar simulation suite and thoroughly test the abilities of different clustering algorithms to recover tidally disrupted UFD remnants. We perform over 10,000 clustering runs, testing seven clustering algorithms, roughly twenty hyperparameter choices per algorithm, and six different types of data sets each with up to 32 simulated samples. Of the seven algorithms, HDBSCAN most consistently balances UFD recovery rates and cluster realness rates. We find that, even in highly idealized cases, the vast majority of clusters found by clustering algorithms do not correspond to real accreted UFD remnants and we can generally only recover 6% of UFDs remnants at best. These results focus exclusively on groups of stars from UFDs, which have weak dynamic signatures compared to the background of other stars. The recoverable UFD remnants are those that accreted recently,zaccretion≲ 0.5. Based on these results, we make recommendations to help guide the search for dynamically linked clusters of UFD stars in observational data. We find that real clusters generally have higher median energy andJr, providing a way to help identify real versus fake clusters. We also recommend incorporating chemical tagging as a way to improve clustering results.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    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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  3. Abstract

    We present new observational benchmarks of rapid neutron-capture process (r-process) nucleosynthesis for elements at and between the first (A∼ 80) and second (A∼ 130) peaks. Our analysis is based on archival ultraviolet and optical spectroscopy of eight metal-poor stars with Se (Z= 34) or Te (Z= 52) detections, whoser-process enhancement varies by more than a factor of 30 (−0.22 ≤ [Eu/Fe] ≤ +1.32). We calculate ratios among the abundances of Se, Sr through Mo (38 ≤Z≤ 42), and Te. These benchmarks may offer a new empirical alternative to the predicted solar systemr-process residual pattern. The Te abundances in these stars correlate more closely with the lighterr-process elements than the heavier ones, contradicting and superseding previous findings. The small star-to-star dispersion among the abundances of Se, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, and Te (≤0.13 dex, or 26%) matches that observed among the abundances of the lanthanides and thirdr-process-peak elements. The concept ofr-process universality that is recognized among the lanthanide and third-peak elements inr-process-enhanced stars may also apply to Se, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, and Te, provided the overall abundances of the lighterr-process elements are scaled independently of the heavier ones. The abundance behavior of the elements Ru through Sn (44 ≤Z≤ 50) requires further study. Our results suggest that at least one relatively common source in the early Universe produced a consistent abundance pattern among some elements spanning the first and secondr-process peaks.

     
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  4. Abstract

    Little is known about the origin of the fastest stars in the Galaxy. Our understanding of the chemical evolution history of the Milky Way and surrounding dwarf galaxies allows us to use the chemical composition of a star to investigate its origin and to say whether it was formed in situ or was accreted. However, the fastest stars, the hypervelocity stars, are young and massive and their chemical composition has not yet been analyzed. Though it is difficult to analyze the chemical composition of a massive young star, we are well versed in the analysis of late-type stars. We have used high-resolution ARCES/3.5 m Apache Point Observatory, MIKE/Magellan spectra to study the chemical details of 15 late-type hypervelocity star candidates. With Gaia EDR3 astrometry and spectroscopically determined radial velocities we found total velocities with a range of 274–520 km s−1and mean value of 381 km s−1. Therefore, our sample stars are not fast enough to be classified as hypervelocity stars, and are what is known as extreme-velocity stars. Our sample has a wide iron abundance range of −2.5 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ −0.9. Their chemistry indicates that at least 50% of them are accreted extragalactic stars, with iron-peak elements consistent with prior enrichment by sub-Chandrasekhar mass Type Ia supernovae. Without indication of binary companions, their chemical abundances and orbital parameters indicate that they are the accelerated tidal debris of disrupted dwarf galaxies.

     
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  5. Abstract We have developed a chemodynamical approach to assign 36,010 metal-poor SkyMapper stars to various Galactic stellar populations. Using two independent techniques (velocity and action space behavior), Gaia EDR3 astrometry, and photometric metallicities, we selected stars with the characteristics of the “metal-weak” thick-disk population by minimizing contamination by the canonical thick disk or other Galactic structures. This sample comprises 7127 stars, spans a metallicity range of −3.50 < [Fe/H] < −0.8, and has a systematic rotational velocity of 〈 V ϕ 〉 = 154 km s −1 that lags that of the thick disk. Orbital eccentricities have intermediate values between typical thick-disk and halo values. The scale length is h R = 2.48 − 0.05 + 0.05 kpc, and the scale height is h Z = 1.68 − 0.15 + 0.19 kpc. The metallicity distribution function is well fit by an exponential with a slope of Δ log N / Δ [ Fe / H ] = 1.13 ± 0.06 . Overall, we find a significant metal-poor component consisting of 261 SkyMapper stars with [Fe/H] < −2.0. While our sample contains only 11 stars with [Fe/H] ≲ −3.0, investigating the JINAbase compilation of metal-poor stars reveals another 18 such stars (five have [Fe/H] < −4.0) that kinematically belong to our sample. These distinct spatial, kinematic, and chemical characteristics strongly suggest that this metal-poor, phase-mixed kinematic sample represents an independent disk component with an accretion origin in which a massive dwarf galaxy radially plunged into the early Galactic disk. Going forward, we propose to call the metal-weak thick-disk population the Atari disk, given its likely accretion origin, and in reference to it sharing space with the Galactic thin and thick disks. 
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  6. 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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