Context. The dominant site of production of r-process elements remains unclear despite recent observations of a neutron star merger. Observational constraints on the properties of the sites can be obtained by comparing r-process abundances in different environments. The recent Gaia data releases and large samples from high-resolution optical spectroscopic surveys are enabling us to compare r-process element abundances between stars formed in an accreted dwarf galaxy, Gaia-Enceladus, and those formed in the Milky Way.
Aims: Our aim is to understand the origin of r-process elements in Gaia-Enceladus.
Methods: We first constructed a sample of stars so that our study on Eu abundance is not affected by the detection limit. We then kinematically selected 76 Gaia-Enceladus stars and 81 in situ stars from the Galactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH) DR3, of which 47 and 55 stars, respectively, can be used to study Eu reliably.
Results: Gaia-Enceladus stars clearly show higher ratios of [Eu/Mg] than in situ stars. High [Eu/Mg] along with low [Mg/Fe] are also seen in relatively massive satellite galaxies such as the LMC, Fornax, and Sagittarius dwarfs. On the other hand, unlike these galaxies, Gaia-Enceladus does not show enhanced [Ba/Eu] or [La/Eu] ratios suggesting a lack of significant s-process contribution. From comparisons with simple chemical evolution models, we show that the high [Eu/Mg] of Gaia-Enceladus can naturally be explained by considering r-process enrichment by neutron-star mergers with delay time distribution that follows a power-law similar to type Ia supernovae but with a shorter minimum delay time.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- June 2021
- stars: abundances;
- Galaxy: halo;
- Galaxy: abundances;
- Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics;
- nuclear reactions;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- accepted to A\&