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  1. Abstract

    We present our outreach program, theThailand–UK Python+Astronomy Summer School(ThaiPASS), a collaborative project comprising UK and Thai institutions and assess its impact and possible application to schools in the United Kingdom. Since its inception in 2018, the annual ThaiPASS has trained around 60 Thai high-school students in basic data handling skills using Python in the context of various astronomy topics, using current research from the teaching team. Our impact assessment of the 5 day summer schools shows an overwhelmingly positive response from students in both years, with over 80% of students scoring the activities above average in all activities butmore »one. We use this data to suggest possible future improvements. We also discuss how ThaiPASS may inspire further outreach and engagement activities within the UK and beyond.

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  2. ABSTRACT

    Several anomalous elemental abundance ratios have been observed in the metal-poor star HD94028. We assume that its high [As/Ge] ratio is a product of a weak intermediate (i) neutron-capture process. Given that observational errors are usually smaller than predicted nuclear physics uncertainties, we have first set-up a benchmark one-zone i-process nucleosynthesis simulation results of which provide the best fit to the observed abundances. We have then performed Monte Carlo simulations in which 113 relevant (n,γ) reaction rates of unstable species were randomly varied within Hauser–Feshbach model uncertainty ranges for each reaction to estimate the impact on the predicted stellarmore »abundances. One of the interesting results of these simulations is a double-peaked distribution of the As abundance, which is caused by the variation of the 75Ga (n,γ) cross-section. This variation strongly anticorrelates with the predicted As abundance, confirming the necessity for improved theoretical or experimental bounds on this cross-section. The 66Ni (n,γ) reaction is found to behave as a major bottleneck for the i-process nucleosynthesis. Our analysis finds the Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient rP > 0.2 for all of the i-process elements with 32 ≤ Z ≤ 42, with significant changes in their predicted abundances showing up when the rate of this reaction is reduced to its theoretically constrained lower bound. Our results are applicable to any other stellar nucleosynthesis site with the similar i-process conditions, such as Sakurai’s object (V4334 Sagittarii) or rapidly accreting white dwarfs.

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  3. Context. A realistic parametrization of convection and convective boundary mixing in conventional stellar evolution codes is still the subject of ongoing research. To improve the current situation, multidimensional hydrodynamic simulations are used to study convection in stellar interiors. Such simulations are numerically challenging, especially for flows at low Mach numbers which are typical for convection during early evolutionary stages. Aims. We explore the benefits of using a low-Mach hydrodynamic flux solver and demonstrate its usability for simulations in the astrophysical context. Simulations of convection for a realistic stellar profile are analyzed regarding the properties of convective boundary mixing. Methods. Themore »time-implicit Seven-League Hydro (SLH) code was used to perform multidimensional simulations of convective helium shell burning based on a 25  M ⊙ star model. The results obtained with the low-Mach AUSM + -up solver were compared to results when using its non low-Mach variant AUSM B + -up. We applied well-balancing of the gravitational source term to maintain the initial hydrostatic background stratification. The computational grids have resolutions ranging from 180 × 90 2 to 810 × 540 2 cells and the nuclear energy release was boosted by factors of 3 × 10 3 , 1 × 10 4 , and 3 × 10 4 to study the dependence of the results on these parameters. Results. The boosted energy input results in convection at Mach numbers in the range of 10 −3 –10 −2 . Standard mixing-length theory predicts convective velocities of about 1.6 × 10 −4 if no boosting is applied. The simulations with AUSM + -up show a Kolmogorov-like inertial range in the kinetic energy spectrum that extends further toward smaller scales compared with its non low-Mach variant. The kinetic energy dissipation of the AUSM + -up solver already converges at a lower resolution compared to AUSM B + -up. The extracted entrainment rates at the boundaries of the convection zone are well represented by the bulk Richardson entrainment law and the corresponding fitting parameters are in agreement with published results for carbon shell burning. However, our study needs to be validated by simulations at higher resolution. Further, we find that a general increase in the entropy in the convection zone may significantly contribute to the measured entrainment of the top boundary. Conclusion. This study demonstrates the successful application of the AUSM + -up solver to a realistic astrophysical setup. Compressible simulations of convection in early phases at nominal stellar luminosity will benefit from its low-Mach capabilities. Similar to other studies, our extrapolated entrainment rate for the helium-burning shell would lead to an unrealistic growth of the convection zone if it is applied over the lifetime of the zone. Studies at nominal stellar luminosities and different phases of the same convection zone are needed to detect a possible evolution of the entrainment rate and the impact of radiation on convective boundary mixing.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  4. Context. Young open clusters (ages of less than 200 Myr) have been observed to exhibit several peculiarities in their chemical compositions. These anomalies include a slightly sub-solar iron content, super-solar abundances of some atomic species (e.g. ionised chromium), and atypical enhancements of [Ba/Fe], with values up to ~0.7 dex. Regarding the behaviour of the other s -process elements like yttrium, zirconium, lanthanum, and cerium, there is general disagreement in the literature: some authors claim that they follow the same trend as barium, while others find solar abundances at all ages. Aims. In this work we expand upon our previous analysismore »of a sample of five young open clusters (IC 2391, IC 2602, IC 4665, NGC 2516, and NGC 2547) and one star-forming region (NGC 2264), with the aim of determining abundances of different neutron-capture elements, mainly Cu  I , Sr  I , Sr  II , Y  II , Zr  II , Ba  II , La  II , and Ce  II . For NGC 2264 and NGC 2547 we present the measurements of these elements for the first time. Methods. We analysed high-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectra of 23 solar-type stars observed within the Gaia -ESO survey. After a careful selection, we derived abundances of isolated and clean lines via spectral synthesis computations and in a strictly differential way with respect to the Sun. Results. We find that our clusters have solar [Cu/Fe] within the uncertainties, while we confirm that [Ba/Fe] is super-solar, with values ranging from +0.22 to +0.64 dex. Our analysis also points to a mild enhancement of Y, with [Y/Fe] ratios covering values between 0 and +0.3 dex. For the other s -process elements we find that [X/Fe] ratios are solar at all ages. Conclusions. It is not possible to reconcile the anomalous behaviour of Ba and Y at young ages with standard stellar yields and Galactic chemical evolution model predictions. We explore different possible scenarios related to the behaviour of spectral lines, from the dependence on the different ionisation stages and the sensitivity to the presence of magnetic fields (through the Landé factor) to the first ionisation potential effect. We also investigate the possibility that they may arise from alterations of the structure of the stellar photosphere due to the increased levels of stellar activity that affect the spectral line formation, and consequently the derived abundances. These effects seem to be stronger in stars at ages of less than ~ 100 Myr. However, we are still unable to explain these enhancements, and the Ba puzzle remains unsolved. With the present study we suggest that other elements, for example Sr, Zr, La, and Ce, might be more reliable tracer of the s -process at young ages, and we strongly encourage further critical observations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  5. ABSTRACT Stellar and supernova nucleosynthesis in the first few billion years of the cosmic history have set the scene for early structure formation in the Universe, while little is known about their nature. Making use of stellar physical parameters measured by GALAH Data Release 3 with accurate astrometry from the Gaia EDR3, we have selected ∼100 old main-sequence turn-off stars (ages ≳12 Gyr) with kinematics compatible with the Milky Way stellar halo population in the Solar neighbourhood. Detailed homogeneous elemental abundance estimates by GALAH DR3 are compared with supernova yield models of Pop III (zero-metal) core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe), normal (non-zero-metal) CCSNe,more »and Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia) to examine which of the individual yields or their combinations best reproduce the observed elemental abundance patterns for each of the old halo stars (‘OHS’). We find that the observed abundances in the OHS with [Fe/H] > −1.5 are best explained by contributions from both CCSNe and SN Ia, where the fraction of SN Ia among all the metal-enriching SNe is up to 10–20 per cent for stars with high [Mg/Fe] ratios and up to 20–27 per cent for stars with low [Mg/Fe] ratios, depending on the assumption about the relative fraction of near-Chandrasekhar-mass SNe Ia progenitors. The results suggest that, in the progenitor systems of the OHS with [Fe/H] > −1.5, ∼ 50–60 per cent of Fe mass originated from normal CCSNe at the earliest phases of the Milky Way formation. These results provide an insight into the birth environments of the oldest stars in the Galactic halo.« less
  6. Context. Grids of stellar models, computed with the same physical ingredients, allow one to study the impact of a given physics on a broad range of initial conditions and they are a key ingredient for modeling the evolution of galaxies. Aims. We present here a grid of single star models for masses between 0.8 and 120 M ⊙ , with and without rotation for a mass fraction of heavy element Z  = 0.006, representative of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Methods. We used the GENeva stellar Evolution Code. The evolution was computed until the end of the central carbon-burning phase, themore »early asymptotic giant branch phase, or the core helium-flash for massive, intermediate, and low mass stars, respectively. Results. The outputs of the present stellar models are well framed by the outputs of the two grids obtained by our group for metallicities above and below the one considered here. The models of the present work provide a good fit to the nitrogen surface enrichments observed during the main sequence for stars in the LMC with initial masses around 15 M ⊙ . They also reproduce the slope of the luminosity function of red supergiants of the LMC well, which is a feature that is sensitive to the time-averaged mass loss rate over the red supergiant phase. The most massive black hole that can be formed from the present models at Z  = 0.006 is around 55 M ⊙ . No model in the range of mass considered will enter into the pair-instability supernova regime, while the minimal mass to enter the region of pair pulsation instability is around 60 M ⊙ for the rotating models and 85 M ⊙ for the nonrotating ones. Conclusions. The present models are of particular interest for comparisons with observations in the LMC and also in the outer regions of the Milky Way. We provide public access to numerical tables that can be used for computing interpolated tracks and for population synthesis studies.« less
  7. Context. NGC 6522 is a moderately metal-poor bulge globular cluster ([Fe/H]∼−1.0), and it is a well-studied representative among a number of moderately metal-poor blue horizontal branch clusters located in the bulge. The NGC 6522 abundance pattern can give hints on the earliest chemical enrichment in the central Galaxy. Aims. The aim of this study is to derive abundances of the light elements C and N; alpha elements O, Mg, Si, Ca, and Ti; odd-Z elements Na and Al; neutron-capture elements Y, Zr, Ba, La, and Nd; and the r-process element Eu. We verify if there are first- and second-generation stars:more »we find clear evidence of Na-Al, Na-N, and Mg-Al correlations, while we cannot identify the Na-O anti-correlation from our data. Methods. High-resolution spectra of six red giants in the bulge globular cluster NGC 6522 were obtained at the 8m VLT UT2-Kueyen telescope with both the UVES and GIRAFFE spectrographs in FLAMES+UVES configuration. In light of Gaia data, it turned out that two of them are non-members, but these were also analysed. Spectroscopic parameters were derived through the excitation and ionisation equilibrium of Fe i and Fe ii lines from UVES spectra. The abundances were obtained with spectrum synthesis. Comparisons of abundances derived from UVES and GIRAFFE spectra were carried out. Results. The present analysis combined with previous UVES results gives a mean radial velocity of vhel = −15.62±7.7 km s−1 and a r metallicity of [Fe/H] = −1.05±0.20 for NGC 6522. Mean abundances of alpha elements for the present four member stars are enhanced with [O/Fe]=+0.38, [Mg/Fe]=≈+0.28, [Si/Fe]≈+0.19, and [Ca/Fe]≈+0.13, together with the iron-peak element [Ti/Fe]≈+0.13, and the r-process element [Eu/Fe]=+0.40. The neutron-capture elements Y, Zr, Ba, and La show enhancements in the +0.08 < [Y/Fe] < +0.90, 0.11 < [Zr/Fe] < +0.50, 0.00 < [Ba/Fe] < +0.63, 0.00 < [La/Fe] < +0.45, and -0.10 < [Nd/Fe] < +0.70 ranges. We also discuss the spread in heavy-element abundances.« less
  8. ABSTRACT Evolved Wolf–Rayet stars form a key aspect of massive star evolution, and their strong outflows determine their final fates. In this study, we calculate grids of stellar models for a wide range of initial masses at five metallicities (ranging from solar down to just 2 per cent solar). We compare a recent hydrodynamically consistent wind prescription with two earlier frequently used wind recipes in stellar evolution and population synthesis modelling, and we present the ranges of maximum final masses at core He-exhaustion for each wind prescription and metallicity Z. Our model grids reveal qualitative differences in mass-loss behaviour of the windmore »prescriptions in terms of ‘convergence’. Using the prescription from Nugis & Lamers the maximum stellar black hole is found to converge to a value of 20–30 M⊙, independent of host metallicity; however, when utilizing the new physically motivated prescription from Sander & Vink there is no convergence to a maximum black hole mass value. The final mass is simply larger for larger initial He-star mass, which implies that the upper black hole limit for He-stars below the pair-instability gap is set by prior evolution with mass loss, or the pair instability itself. Quantitatively, we find the critical Z for pair-instability (ZPI) to be as high as 50 per cent Z⊙, corresponding to the host metallicity of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Moreover, while the Nugis & Lamers prescription would not predict any black holes above the approx 130 M⊙ pair-instability limit, with Sander & Vink winds included, we demonstrate a potential channel for very massive helium stars to form such massive black holes at ∼2 per cent Z⊙ or below.« less