Davies, Ben; Origlia, Livia; Kudritzki, Rolf-Peter; Figer, Don F.; Rich, R. Michael; Najarro, Francisco; Negueruela, Ignacio and Clark, James
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|DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:||http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/696/2/2014|
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The location of the Scutum Red Supergiant (RSG) clusters at the end of the Galactic Bar makes them an excellent probe of the Galaxy's secular evolution, while the clusters themselves are ideal testbeds in which to study the predictions of stellar evolutionary theory. To this end, we present a study of the RSG's surface abundances using a combination of high-resolution Keck/NIRSPEC H-band spectroscopy and spectral synthesis analysis. We provide abundance measurements for elements C, O, Si, Mg, Ti, and Fe. We find that the surface abundances of the stars studied are consistent with CNO burning and deep, rotationally enhanced mixing. The average α/Fe ratios of the clusters are solar, consistent with a thin-disk population. However, we find significantly subsolar Fe/H ratios for each cluster, a result which strongly contradicts a simple extrapolation of the Galactic metallicity gradient to lower Galactocentric distances. We suggest that a simple one-dimensional parameterization of the Galaxy's abundance patterns is insufficient at low Galactocentric distances, as large azimuthal variations may be present. Indeed, we show that the abundances of O, Si, and Mg are consistent with independent measurements of objects in similar locations in the Galaxy. In combining our results with other data in the literature, we present evidence for large-scale (~ kpc) azimuthal variations in abundances at Galactocentric distances of 3-5 kpc. While we cannot rule out that this observed behavior is due to systematic offsets between different measurement techniques, we do find evidence for similar behavior in a study of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 4736 which uses homogeneous methodology. We suggest that these azimuthal abundance variations could result from the intense but patchy star formation driven by the potential of the central bar.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Copyright Holders:||2009 Institute of Physics and IOP Publishing Limited|
|Academic Unit/Department:||Science > Physical Sciences
|Interdisciplinary Research Centre:||Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)|
|Depositing User:||J. Simon Clark|
|Date Deposited:||12 Nov 2009 10:45|
|Last Modified:||23 Feb 2016 21:17|
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