Investigation of the puzzling abundance pattern in the stars of the Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy.
LI H., CUI W. and ZHANG B.
Abstract (from CDS):
Many works have found unusual characteristics of elemental abundances in nearby dwarf galaxies. This implies that there is a key factor of galactic evolution that is different from that of the Milky Way (MW). The chemical abundances of the stars in the Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy (Fornax dSph) provide excellent information for setting constraints on the models of galactic chemical evolution. In this work, adopting the five-component approach, we fit the abundances of the Fornax dSph stars, including α elements, iron group elements, and neutron-capture elements. For most sample stars, the relative contributions from the various processes to the elemental abundances are not usually in the MW proportions. We find that the contributions from massive stars to the primary α elements and iron group elements increase monotonically with increasing [Fe/H]. This means that the effect of the galactic wind is not strong enough to halt star formation and the contributions from the massive stars to α elements did not halt for [Fe/H] ≲ -0.5. The average contribution ratios of various processes between the dSph stars and the MW stars monotonically decrease with increasing progenitor mass. This is important evidence of a bottom-heavy initial mass function (IMF) for the Fornax dSph, compared to the MW. Considering a bottom-heavy IMF for the dSph, the observed relations of [α/Fe] versus [Fe/H], [iron group/Fe] versus [Fe/H], and [neutron-capture/Fe] versus [Fe/H] for the dSph stars can be explained.