The early days of the Sculptor dwarf spheroidal galaxy

P. Jablonka, P. North, L. Mashonkina, V. Hill, Y. Revaz, M. Shetrone, E. Starkenburg, M. Irwin, E. Tolstoy, G. Battaglia, K. Venn, A. Helmi, F. Primas, P. François

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We present the high-resolution spectroscopic study of five -3.9 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ -2.5 stars in the Local Group dwarf spheroidal, Sculptor, thereby doubling the number of stars with comparable observations in this metallicity range. We carry out a detailed analysis of the chemical abundances of α, iron peak, and light and heavy elements, and draw comparisons with the Milky Way halo and the ultra-faint dwarf stellar populations. We show that the bulk of the Sculptor metal-poor stars follow the same trends in abundance ratios versus metallicity as the Milky Way stars. This suggests similar early conditions of star formation and a high degree of homogeneity of the interstellar medium. We find an outlier to this main regime, which seems to miss the products of the most massive of the Type II supernovae. In addition to its help in refining galaxy formation models, this star provides clues to the production of cobalt and zinc. Two of our sample stars have low odd-to-even barium isotope abundance ratios, suggestive of a fair proportion of s-process. We discuss the implication for the nucleosynthetic origin of the neutron capture elements. Based on ESO programs 087.D-0928(A) and 091.D-0912(A).
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA67
Number of pages21
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2015


  • stars: abundances
  • Local Group
  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: formation

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