Volume 414, Number 2, February I 2004
|Page(s)||503 - 514|
|Published online||19 January 2004|
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica – Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Via Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy
2 Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica – Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Italy Via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio Catone, Roma, Italy
3 Università Tor Vergata, via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
4 European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago, Chile
5 Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, 2 pl. J. Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
Corresponding author: P. Bonifacio, email@example.com
Accepted: 28 October 2003
We report on abundances of O, Mg, Si, Ca and Fe for 10 giants in the Sgr dwarf spheroidal derived from high resolution spectra obtained with UVES at the 8.2 m Kueyen-VLT telescope. The iron abundance spans the range and the dominant population is relatively metal-rich with . The α/Fe ratios are slightly subsolar, even at the lowest observed metallicities suggesting a slow or bursting star formation rate. From our sample of 12 giants (including the two observed by [CITE]) we conclude that a substantial metal rich population exists in Sgr, which dominates the sample. The spectroscopic metallicities allow one to break the age-metallicity degeneracy in the interpretation of the colour-magnitude diagram (CMD). Comparison of isochrones of appropriate metallicity with the observed CMD suggests an age of 1 Gyr or younger, for the dominant Sgr population sampled by us. We argue that the observations support a star formation that is triggered by the passage of Sgr through the Galactic disc, both in Sgr and in the disc. This scenario has also the virtue of explaining the mysterious “bulge C stars” as disc stars formed in this event. The interaction of Sgr with the Milky Way is likely to have played a major role in its evolution.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: atmospheres / galaxies: abundances / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: dwarf / galaxies: individual: Sgr dSph
© ESO, 2004
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