Linking dwarf galaxies to halo building blocks with the most metal-poor star in Sculptor

Дата и время публикации : 2009-12-23T21:01:25Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Anna Frebel (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)
Evan Kirby (Caltech)
Joshua D. Simon (Carnegie Observatories)

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 16 pages, including 2 figures. Accepted for publication in Nature. It is embargoed for discussion in the press until formal publication in Nature
Первичная категория: astro-ph.GA

Все категории : astro-ph.GA, astro-ph.CO, astro-ph.SR

Краткий обзор статьи: Current cosmological models indicate that the Milky Way’s stellar halo was assembled from many smaller systems. Based on the apparent absence of the most metal-poor stars in present-day dwarf galaxies, recent studies claimed that the true Galactic building blocks must have been vastly different from the surviving dwarfs. The discovery of an extremely iron-poor star (S1020549) in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy based on a medium-resolution spectrum cast some doubt on this conclusion. However, verification of the iron-deficiency and measurements of additional elements, such as the alpha-element Mg, are mandatory for demonstrating that the same type of stars produced the metals found in dwarf galaxies and the Galactic halo. Only then can dwarf galaxy stars be conclusively linked to early stellar halo assembly. Here we report high-resolution spectroscopic abundances for 11 elements in S1020549, confirming the iron abundance of less than 1/4000th that of the Sun, and showing that the overall abundance pattern mirrors that seen in low-metallicity halo stars, including the alpha-elements. Such chemical similarity indicates that the systems destroyed to form the halo billions of years ago were not fundamentally different from the progenitors of present-day dwarfs, and suggests that the early chemical enrichment of all galaxies may be nearly identical.

Category: Physics