Volume 642, October 2020
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||15 October 2020|
Physics Institute, Laboratory of Astrophysics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
2 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, Université PSL, CNRS, Place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
3 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
4 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Calle Via Láctea, s/n, 38205 San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
5 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
6 Laboratoire Lagrange, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Nice, France
7 Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Landleven 12, 9747 AD Groningen, The Netherlands
8 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, PO Box 3055, STN CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 3P6, Canada
9 European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Casilla 19001, Santiago, Chile
10 European Southern Observatory, Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
11 McDonald Observatory, University of Texas at Austin, Fort David, TX, USA
Accepted: 24 March 2020
We present our analysis of the FLAMES dataset targeting the central 25′ region of the Sextans dwarf spheroidal galaxy (dSph). This dataset is the third major part of the high-resolution spectroscopic section of the ESO large program 171.B-0588(A) obtained by the Dwarf galaxy Abundances and Radial-velocities Team. Our sample is composed of red giant branch stars down to V ∼ 20.5 mag, the level of the horizontal branch in Sextans, and allows users to address questions related to both stellar nucleosynthesis and galaxy evolution. We provide metallicities for 81 stars, which cover the wide [Fe/H] = −3.2 to −1.5 dex range. The abundances of ten other elements are derived: Mg, Ca, Ti, Sc, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Ba, and Eu. Despite its small mass, Sextans is a chemically evolved system, showing evidence of a contribution from core-collapse and Type Ia supernovae as well as low-metallicity asymptotic giant branch stars (AGBs). This new FLAMES sample offers a sufficiently large number of stars with chemical abundances derived with high accuracy to firmly establish the existence of a plateau in [α/Fe] at ∼0.4 dex followed by a decrease above [Fe/H] ∼ −2 dex. These features reveal a close similarity with the Fornax and Sculptor dSphs despite their very different masses and star formation histories, suggesting that these three galaxies had very similar star formation efficiencies in their early formation phases, probably driven by the early accretion of smaller galactic fragments, until the UV-background heating impacted them in different ways. The parallel between the Sculptor and Sextans dSph is also striking when considering Ba and Eu. The same chemical trends can be seen in the metallicity region common to both galaxies, implying similar fractions of SNeIa and low-metallicity AGBs. Finally, as to the iron-peak elements, the decline of [Co/Fe] and [Ni/Fe] above [Fe/H] ∼ −2 implies that the production yields of Ni and Co in SNeIa are lower than that of Fe. The decrease in [Ni/Fe] favours models of SNeIa based on the explosion of double-degenerate sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs.
Key words: stars: abundances / galaxies: dwarf / galaxies: evolution
Tables 2–6, 9–13 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/642/A176
© ESO 2020
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