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  1. Abstract We report the first direct measurement of the helium isotope ratio, 3 He/ 4 He, outside of the Local Interstellar Cloud, as part of science-verification observations with the upgraded CRyogenic InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph. Our determination of 3 He/ 4 He is based on metastable He i * absorption along the line of sight toward Θ 2 A Ori in the Orion Nebula. We measure a value 3 He/ 4 He = (1.77 ± 0.13) × 10 −4 , which is just ∼40% above the primordial relative abundance of these isotopes, assuming the Standard Model of particle physics and cosmology, ( 3 He/ 4 He) p = (1.257 ± 0.017) × 10 −4 . We calculate a suite of galactic chemical evolution simulations to study the Galactic build up of these isotopes, using the yields from Limongi & Chieffi for stars in the mass range M = 8–100 M ⊙ and Lagarde et al. for M = 0.8–8 M ⊙ . We find that these simulations simultaneously reproduce the Orion and protosolar 3 He/ 4 He values if the calculations are initialized with a primordial ratio 3 He / 4 He p = ( 1.043 ± 0.089 ) × 10more »− 4 . Even though the quoted error does not include the model uncertainty, this determination agrees with the Standard Model value to within ∼2 σ . We also use the present-day Galactic abundance of deuterium (D/H), helium (He/H), and 3 He/ 4 He to infer an empirical limit on the primordial 3 He abundance, 3 He / H p ≤ ( 1.09 ± 0.18 ) × 10 − 5 , which also agrees with the Standard Model value. We point out that it is becoming increasingly difficult to explain the discrepant primordial 7 Li/H abundance with nonstandard physics, without breaking the remarkable simultaneous agreement of three primordial element ratios (D/H, 4 He/H, and 3 He/ 4 He) with the Standard Model values.« less
  2. 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. The correlations of 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 =more »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 in ω Cen. 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.« less
  3. Abstract We investigate the [X/Mg] abundances of 16 elements for 82,910 Galactic disk stars from GALAH+ DR3. We fit the median trends of low-Ia and high-Ia populations with a two-process model, which describes stellar abundances in terms of a prompt core-collapse and delayed Type-Ia supernova component. For each sample star, we fit the amplitudes of these two components and compute the residual Δ[X/H] abundances from this two-parameter fit. We find rms residuals ≲0.07 dex for well-measured elements and correlated residuals among some elements (such as Ba, Y, and Zn) that indicate common enrichment sources. From a detailed investigation of stars with large residuals, we infer that roughly 40% of the large deviations are physical and 60% are caused by problematic data such as unflagged binarity, poor wavelength solutions, and poor telluric subtraction. As one example of a population with distinctive abundance patterns, we identify 15 stars that have 0.3–0.6 dex enhancements of Na but normal abundances of other elements from O to Ni and positive average residuals of Cu, Zn, Y, and Ba. We measure the median elemental residuals of 14 open clusters, finding systematic ∼0.1–0.4 dex enhancements of O, Ca, K, Y, and Ba and ∼0.2 dex depletion ofmore »Cu in young clusters. Finally, we present a restricted three-process model where we add an asymptotic giant branch star (AGB) component to better fit Ba and Y. With the addition of the third process, we identify a population of stars, preferentially young, that have much higher AGB enrichment than expected from their SNIa enrichment.« less
  4. Abstract Some studies of stars’ multielement abundance distributions suggest at least 5–7 significant dimensions, but others show that many elemental abundances can be predicted to high accuracy from [Fe/H] and [Mg/Fe] (or [Fe/H] and age) alone. We show that both propositions can be, and are, simultaneously true. We adopt a machine-learning technique known as normalizing flow to reconstruct the probability distribution of Milky Way disk stars in the space of 15 elemental abundances measured by APOGEE. Conditioning on T eff and log g minimizes the differential systematics. After further conditioning on [Fe/H] and [Mg/Fe], the residual scatter for most abundances is σ [ X /H] ≲ 0.02 dex, consistent with APOGEE’s reported statistical uncertainties of ∼0.01–0.015 dex and intrinsic scatter of 0.01–0.02 dex. Despite the small scatter, residual abundances display clear correlations between elements, which we show are too large to be explained by measurement uncertainties or by the finite sampling noise. We must condition on at least seven elements to reduce the correlations to a level consistent with the observational uncertainties. Our results demonstrate that cross-element correlations are a much more sensitive probe of a hidden structure than dispersion, and they can be measured precisely in a large samplemore »even if the star-by-star measurement noise is comparable to the intrinsic scatter. We conclude that many elements have an independent story to tell, even for the mundane disk stars and elements produced by the core-collapse and Type Ia supernovae. The only way to learn these lessons is to measure the abundances directly, and not merely infer them.« less
  5. Abstract The SDSS-IV Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey has obtained high-resolution spectra for thousands of red giant stars distributed among the massive satellite galaxies of the Milky Way (MW): the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC/SMC), the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy (Sgr), Fornax (Fnx), and the now fully disrupted Gaia Sausage/Enceladus (GSE) system. We present and analyze the APOGEE chemical abundance patterns of each galaxy to draw robust conclusions about their star formation histories, by quantifying the relative abundance trends of multiple elements (C, N, O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Fe, Ni, and Ce), as well as by fitting chemical evolution models to the [ α /Fe]–[Fe/H] abundance plane for each galaxy. Results show that the chemical signatures of the starburst in the Magellanic Clouds (MCs) observed by Nidever et al. in the α -element abundances extend to C+N, Al, and Ni, with the major burst in the SMC occurring some 3–4 Gyr before the burst in the LMC. We find that Sgr and Fnx also exhibit chemical abundance patterns suggestive of secondary star formation epochs, but these events were weaker and earlier (∼5–7 Gyr ago) than those observed in the MCs. There is no chemical evidence ofmore »a second starburst in GSE, but this galaxy shows the strongest initial star formation as compared to the other four galaxies. All dwarf galaxies had greater relative contributions of AGB stars to their enrichment than the MW. Comparing and contrasting these chemical patterns highlight the importance of galaxy environment on its chemical evolution.« less
  6. ABSTRACT Using a sample of red giant stars from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) Data Release 16, we infer the conditional distribution $p([\alpha /{\rm Fe}]\, |\, [{\rm Fe}/{\rm H}])$ in the Milky Way disk for the α-elements Mg, O, Si, S, and Ca. In each bin of [Fe/H] and Galactocentric radius R, we model p([α/Fe]) as a sum of two Gaussians, representing ‘low-α’ and ‘high-α’ populations with scale heights $z_1=0.45\, {\rm kpc}$ and $z_2=0.95\, {\rm kpc}$, respectively. By accounting for age-dependent and z-dependent selection effects in APOGEE, we infer the [α/Fe] distributions that would be found for a fair sample of long-lived stars covering all z. Near the Solar circle, this distribution is bimodal at sub-solar [Fe/H], with the low-α and high-α peaks clearly separated by a minimum at intermediate [α/Fe]. In agreement with previous results, we find that the high-α population is more prominent at smaller R, lower [Fe/H], and larger |z|, and that the sequence separation is smaller for Si and Ca than for Mg, O, and S. We find significant intrinsic scatter in [α/Fe] at fixed [Fe/H] for both the low-α and high-α populations, typically ∼0.04-dex. The means, dispersions, and relative amplitudes of thismore »two-Gaussian description, and the dependence of these parameters on R, [Fe/H], and α-element, provide a quantitative target for chemical evolution models and a test for hydrodynamic simulations of disk galaxy formation. We argue that explaining the observed bimodality will probably require one or more sharp transitions in the disk’s gas accretion, star formation, or outflow history in addition to radial mixing of stellar populations.« less
  7. ABSTRACT We develop a hybrid model of galactic chemical evolution that combines a multiring computation of chemical enrichment with a prescription for stellar migration and the vertical distribution of stellar populations informed by a cosmological hydrodynamic disc galaxy simulation. Our fiducial model adopts empirically motivated forms of the star formation law and star formation history, with a gradient in outflow mass loading tuned to reproduce the observed metallicity gradient. With this approach, the model reproduces many of the striking qualitative features of the Milky Way disc’s abundance structure: (i) the dependence of the [O/Fe]–[Fe/H] distribution on radius Rgal and mid-plane distance |z|; (ii) the changing shapes of the [O/H] and [Fe/H] distributions with Rgal and |z|; (iii) a broad distribution of [O/Fe] at sub-solar metallicity and changes in the [O/Fe] distribution with Rgal, |z|, and [Fe/H]; (iv) a tight correlation between [O/Fe] and stellar age for [O/Fe] > 0.1; (v) a population of young and intermediate-age α-enhanced stars caused by migration-induced variability in the Type Ia supernova rate; (vi) non-monotonic age–[O/H] and age–[Fe/H] relations, with large scatter and a median age of ∼4 Gyr near solar metallicity. Observationally motivated models with an enhanced star formation rate ∼2 Gyr ago improve agreement with the observed age–[Fe/H] and age–[O/H] relations, but worsen agreement with the observed age–[O/Fe]more »relation. None of our models predict an [O/Fe] distribution with the distinct bimodality seen in the observations, suggesting that more dramatic evolutionary pathways are required. All code and tables used for our models are publicly available through the Versatile Integrator for Chemical Evolution (VICE;« less
  8. ABSTRACT We test the hypothesis that the observed first-peak (Sr, Y, Zr) and second-peak (Ba) s-process elemental abundances in low-metallicity Milky Way stars, and the abundances of the elements Mo and Ru, can be explained by a pervasive r-process contribution originating in neutrino-driven winds from highly magnetic and rapidly rotating proto-neutron stars (proto-NSs). We construct chemical evolution models that incorporate recent calculations of proto-NS yields in addition to contributions from asymptotic giant branch stars, Type Ia supernovae, and two alternative sets of yields for massive star winds and core-collapse supernovae. For non-rotating massive star yields from either set, models without proto-NS winds underpredict the observed s-process peak abundances by 0.3–$1\, \text{dex}$ at low metallicity, and they severely underpredict Mo and Ru at all metallicities. Models incorporating wind yields from proto-NSs with spin periods P ∼ 2–$5\, \text{ms}$ fit the observed trends for all these elements well. Alternatively, models omitting proto-NS winds but adopting yields of rapidly rotating massive stars, with vrot between 150 and $300\, \text{km}\, \text{s}^{-1}$, can explain the observed abundance levels reasonably well for [Fe/H] < −2. These models overpredict [Sr/Fe] and [Mo/Fe] at higher metallicities, but with a tuned dependence of vrot on stellar metallicity they mightmore »achieve an acceptable fit at all [Fe/H]. If many proto-NSs are born with strong magnetic fields and short spin periods, then their neutrino-driven winds provide a natural source for Sr, Y, Zr, Mo, Ru, and Ba in low-metallicity stellar populations. Conversely, spherical winds from unmagnetized proto-NSs overproduce the observed Sr, Y, and Zr abundances by a large factor.« less
  9. ABSTRACT Kinematic studies of disc galaxies, using individual stars in the Milky Way or statistical studies of global disc kinematics over time, provide insight into how discs form and evolve. We use a high-resolution, cosmological zoom-simulation of a Milky Way-mass disc galaxy (h277) to tie together local disc kinematics and the evolution of the disc over time. The present-day stellar age–velocity relationship (AVR) of h277 is nearly identical to that of the analogous solar-neighbourhood measurement in the Milky Way. A crucial element of this success is the simulation’s dynamically cold multiphase ISM, which allows young stars to form with a low velocity dispersion (σbirth$\sim \!6 - 8 \ \mathrm{km\, s}^{-1}$) at late times. Older stars are born kinematically hotter (i.e. the disc settles over time in an ‘upside-down’ formation scenario), and are subsequently heated after birth. The disc also grows ‘inside-out’, and many of the older stars in the present-day solar neighbourhood are present because of radial mixing. We demonstrate that the evolution of σbirth in h277 can be explained by the same model used to describe the general decrease in velocity dispersion observed in disc galaxies from z ∼ 2–3 to the present-day, in which the disc evolves inmore »quasi-stable equilibrium and the ISM velocity dispersion decreases over time due to a decreasing gas fraction. Thus, our results tie together local observations of the Milky Way’s AVR with observed kinematics of high z disc galaxies.« less