University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy


Detailed Abundances for 28 Metal-poor Stars: Stellar Relics in the Milky Way


by David K. Lai, David K., Michael Bolte, Jennifer A. Johnson, Sara Lucatello, Alexander Heger, S. E. Woosley.

We present the results of an abundance analysis for a sample of stars with -4<[Fe/H]<-2. The data were obtained with the HIRES spectrograph at Keck Observatory. The set includes 28 stars, with effective temperature ranging from 4800 to 6600 K. For 13 stars with [Fe/H]<-2.6, including nine with [Fe/H]<-3.0 and one with [Fe/H]=-4.0, these are the first reported detailed abundances. For the most metal-poor star in our sample, CS 30336-049, we measure an abundance pattern that is very similar to stars in the range [Fe/H]~-3.5, including a normal C+N abundance. We also find that it has very low but measurable Sr and Ba, indicating some neutron-capture activity even at this low of a metallicity. We explore this issue further by examining other very neutron capture-deficient stars and find that, at the lowest levels, [Ba/Sr] exhibits the ratio of the main r-process. We also report on a new r-process-enhanced star, CS 31078-018. This star has [Fe/H]=-2.85, [Eu/Fe]=1.23, and [Ba/Eu]=-0.51. CS 31078-018 exhibits an ``actinide boost,'' i.e., much higher [Th/Eu] than expected and at a similar level to CS 31082-001. Our spectra allow us to further constrain the abundance scatter at low metallicities, which we then use to fit to the zero-metallicity Type II supernova yields of Heger & Woosley (2008). We find that supernovae with progenitor masses between 10 and 20 Msolar provide the best matches to our abundances.

The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.

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