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2011A&A...530A..15N - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 530A, 15-15 (2011/6-1)

Two distinct halo populations in the solar neighborhood. II. Evidence from stellar abundances of Mn, Cu, Zn, Y, and Ba.

NISSEN P.E. and SCHUSTER W.J.

Abstract (from CDS):

Current models of galaxy formation predict that the Galactic halo was assembled hierarchically. By measuring abundance ratios in stars it may be possible to identify substructures in the halo resulting from this process. A previous study of 94 dwarf stars with -1.6<[Fe/H]←0.4 in the solar neighborhood has revealed the existence of two distinct halo populations with a systematic difference in [α/Fe] at a given metallicity. In continuation of that work, abundances of Mn, Cu, Zn, Y, and Ba are determined for the same sample of stars. Equivalent widths of atomic lines are measured from high resolution VLT/UVES and NOT/FIES spectra and used to derive abundance ratios from an LTE analysis based on MARCS model atmospheres. The analysis is made relative to two thick-disk stars, HD22879 and HD76932, such that very precise differential values are obtained. Systematic differences between the high-α'' and low-α'' halo populations are found for [Cu/Fe], [Zn/Fe], and [Ba/Y], whereas there is no significant difference in the case of [Mn/Fe]. At a given metallicity, [Cu/Fe] shows a large scatter that is closely correlated with a corresponding scatter in [Na/Fe] and [Ni/Fe]. The metallicity trends of [Cu/Fe], [Zn/Fe], and [Ba/Y] can be explained from existing nucleosynthesis calculations if the high-α stars formed in regions with such a high star formation rate that only massive stars and type II supernovae contributed to the chemical enrichment. The low-α stars, on the other hand, most likely originate from systems with a slower chemical evolution, characterized by additional enrichment from type Ia supernovae and low-mass AGB stars.

Journal keyword(s): stars: atmospheres - stars: abundances - Galaxy: abundances - Galaxy: halo - Galaxy: formation

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/A+A/530/A15): table1.dat table2.dat table3u.dat table3f.dat>