Volume 647, March 2021
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||10 March 2021|
APOGEE DR16: A multi-zone chemical evolution model for the Galactic disc based on MCMC methods
Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
2 Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, The Ohio State University, 191 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3 Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
4 Dipartimento di Fisica, Sezione di Astronomia, Università di Trieste, Via G.B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy
5 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Via G.B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy
6 INFN – Sezione di Trieste, Via Valerio 2, 34100 Trieste, Italy
7 Technology University Dublin, School of Physics and Clinical & Optometric Sciences, Kevin Street, Saint Peter’s, Dublin 2 D08 X622, Ireland
8 SISSA – International School for Advanced Studies, Via Bonomea 265, 34136 Trieste, Italy
9 INAF – Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Accepted: 21 January 2021
Context. The analysis of the latest release of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment project (APOGEE DR16) data suggests the existence of a clear distinction between two sequences of disc stars at different Galactocentric distances in the [α/Fe] versus [Fe/H] abundance ratio space: the so-called high-α sequence, classically associated with an old population of stars in the thick disc with high average [α/Fe], and the low-α sequence, which mostly comprises relatively young stars in the thin disc with low average [α/Fe].
Aims. We aim to constrain a multi-zone two-infall chemical evolution model designed for regions at different Galactocentric distances using measured chemical abundances from the APOGEE DR16 sample.
Methods. We performed a Bayesian analysis based on a Markov chain Monte Carlo method to fit our multi-zone two-infall chemical evolution model to the APOGEE DR16 data.
Results. An inside-out formation of the Galaxy disc naturally emerges from the best fit of our two-infall chemical-evolution model to APOGEE-DR16: Inner Galactic regions are assembled on shorter timescales compared to the external ones. In the outer disc (with radii R > 6 kpc), the chemical dilution due to a late accretion event of gas with a primordial chemical composition is the main driver of the [Mg/Fe] versus [Fe/H] abundance pattern in the low-α sequence. In the inner disc, in the framework of the two-infall model, we confirm the presence of an enriched gas infall in the low-α phase as suggested by chemo-dynamical models. Our Bayesian analysis of the recent APOGEE DR16 data suggests a significant delay time, ranging from ∼3.0 to 4.7 Gyr, between the first and second gas infall events for all the analysed Galactocentric regions. The best fit model reproduces several observational constraints such as: (i) the present-day stellar and gas surface density profiles; (ii) the present-day abundance gradients; (iii) the star formation rate profile; and (iv) the solar abundance values.
Conclusions. Our results propose a clear interpretation of the [Mg/Fe] versus [Fe/H] relations along the Galactic discs. The signatures of a delayed gas-rich merger which gives rise to a hiatus in the star formation history of the Galaxy are impressed in the [Mg/Fe] versus [Fe/H] relation, determining how the low-α stars are distributed in the abundance space at different Galactocentric distances, which is in agreement with the finding of recent chemo-dynamical simulations.
Key words: Galaxy: abundances / Galaxy: evolution / ISM: general / methods: statistical
© ESO 2021
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