Volume 590, June 2016
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||04 May 2016|
Chemical abundances in a high-velocity RR Lyrae star near the bulge⋆
1 Dark Cosmology Centre, The Niels Bohr Institute, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
2 University of California Los Angeles, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Los Angeles, CA, USA
3 Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Landessternwarte, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
4 Phyics Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YB, UK
5 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
6 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 9 February 2016
Accepted: 16 March 2016
Low-mass variable high-velocity stars are interesting study cases for many aspects of Galactic structure and evolution. Until recently, the only known high- or hyper-velocity stars were young stars thought to originate from the Galactic center. Wide-area surveys such as APOGEE and BRAVA have found several low-mass stars in the bulge with Galactic rest-frame velocities higher than 350 km s-1. In this study we present the first abundance analysis of a low-mass RR Lyrae star that is located close to the Galactic bulge, with a space motion of ~–400 km s-1. Using medium-resolution spectra, we derived abundances (including upper limits) of 11 elements. These allowed us to chemically tag the star and discuss its origin, although our derived abundances and metallicity, at [Fe/H] =−0.9 dex, do not point toward one unambiguous answer. Based on the chemical tagging, we cannot exclude that it originated in the bulge. However, its retrograde orbit and the derived abundances combined suggest that the star was accelerated from the outskirts of the inner (or even outer) halo during many-body interactions. Other possible origins include the bulge itself, or the star might have been stripped from a stellar cluster or the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy when it merged with the Milky Way.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: variables: RR Lyrae / stars: Population II / stars: kinematics and dynamics / Galaxy: bulge / Galaxy: halo
The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.
© ESO, 2016
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