Site Map
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter YouTube channel
Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

The first chemical abundance analysis of K giants in the inner Galactic disk

T. Bensby, A. Alves-Brito, M. S. Oey, D. Yong, J. Meléndez

Aims. The elemental abundance structure of the Galactic disc has been extensively studied in the solar neighbourhood using longlived stars such as F and G dwarfs or K and M giants. These are stars whose atmospheres preserve the chemical composition of their natal gas clouds, and are hence excellent tracers of the chemical evolution of the Galaxy. As far as we are aware, there are no such studies of the inner Galactic disc, which hampers our ability to constrain and trace the origin and evolution of the Milky Way. Therefore, we aim in this study to establish the elemental abundance trend(s) of the disc(s) in the inner regions of the Galaxy.
Methods. Based on equivalent width measurements in high-resolution spectra obtained with theMIKE spectrograph on the Magellan II telescope on Las Campanas in Chile, we determine elemental abundances for 44 K-type red giant stars in the inner Galactic disc, located at Galactocentric distances of 4–7 kpc. The analysis method is identical to the one recently used on red giant stars in the Galactic bulge and in the nearby thin and thick discs, enabling us to perform a truly differential comparison of the different stellar populations.
Results. We present the first detailed elemental abundance study of a significant number of red giant stars in the inner Galactic disc. We find that these inner disc stars show the same type of chemical and kinematical dichotomy as the thin and thick discs show in the solar neighbourhood. The abundance trends of the inner disc agree very well with those of the nearby thick disc, and also to those of the Bulge. The chemical similarities between the Bulge and the Galactic thick disc stellar populations indicate that they have similar chemical histories, and any model trying to understand the formation and evolution of either of the two should preferably incorporate both of them.

Galaxy: disk - Galaxy: bulge - Galaxy: formation - Galaxy: evolution - stars: abundances

This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 meter Magellan Telescopes located at the Las Campanas Observatory, Chile

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 516, Page L13_1
June 2010

>> PDF>> ADS>> DOI

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

Proceed on CAUP's website|Go to IA website