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High-Resolution Spectroscopic Study of Extremely Metal-Poor Star Candidates from the SkyMapper Survey

Jacobson, Heather R. et al., 2015, The Astrophysical Journal, 807, 171 | View on ADS (2015ApJ...807..171J)


The SkyMapper Southern Sky Survey is carrying out a search for the most metal-poor stars in the Galaxy. It identifies candidates by way of its unique filter set which allows for estimation of stellar atmospheric parameters. The set includes a narrow filter centered on the Ca ii K 3933 Å line, enabling a robust estimate of stellar metallicity. Promising candidates are then confirmed with spectroscopy. We present the analysis of Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle high-resolution spectroscopy of 122 metal-poor stars found by SkyMapper in the first two years of commissioning observations. Forty-one stars have [{Fe}/{{H}}]≤slant -3.0. Nine have [{Fe}/{{H}}]≤slant -3.5, with three at [{Fe}/{{H}}]∼ -4. A 1D LTE abundance analysis of the elements Li, C, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Zn, Sr, Ba, and Eu shows these stars have [X/Fe] ratios typical of other halo stars. One star with low [X/Fe] values appears to be “Fe-enhanced,” while another star has an extremely large [Sr/Ba] ratio: \gt 2. Only one other star is known to have a comparable value. Seven stars are “CEMP-no” stars ([{{C}}/{Fe}]\gt 0.7, [{Ba}/{Fe}]\lt 0). 21 stars exhibit mild r-process element enhancements (0.3≤slant [{Eu}/{Fe}]\lt 1.0), while four stars have [{Eu}/{Fe}]≥slant 1.0. These results demonstrate the ability to identify extremely metal-poor stars from SkyMapper photometry, pointing to increased sample sizes and a better characterization of the metal-poor tail of the halo metallicity distribution function in the future. This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

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