Elevated r-process enrichment in Gaia Sausage and Sequoia

David S. Aguado, Vasily Belokurov, G. C. Myeong, N. Wyn Evans, Chiaki Kobayashi, Luca Sbordone, Julio Chanamé, Camila Navarrete, Sergey E. Koposov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Gaia Sausage and the Sequoia represent the major accretion events that formed the stellar halo of the Milky Way. A detailed chemical study of these main building blocks provides a pristine view of the early steps of the Galaxy's assembly. We present the results of the analysis of the UVES high-resolution spectroscopic observations at the 8.2m VLT of 9 Sausage/Sequoia members selected kinematically using Gaia DR2. We season this set of measurements with archival data from Nissen & Schuster (2011) and GALAH DR3 (2020). Here, we focus on the neutron-capture process by analysing Sr, Y, Ba and Eu behavior. We detect clear enhancement in Eu abundance ([Eu/Fe]~0.6-0.7) indicative of large prevalence of r-process in the stellar n-capture makeup. We are also able to trace the evolution of the heavy element production across a wide range of metallicity. Barium to europium ratio changes from a tight, flat sequence with [Ba/Eu]=-0.7 reflecting dominant core-collapse SNe contribution, to a clear upturn at higher iron abundances, betraying the onset of contamination from asymptotic giant branch (AGB) ejecta. Additionally, we discover two clear sequences in [Fe/H]-[Ba/Fe] plane likely caused by distinct levels of s-process pollution and mixing within the GS progenitor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume908
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • astro-ph.GA

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