Elemental abundance ratios in stars of the outer galactic disk. IV. A new sample of open clusters

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The American Astronomical Society


We present radial velocities and chemical abundances for nine stars in the old, distant open clusters Be18, Be21, Be22, Be32, and PWM4. For Be18 and PWM4, these are the first chemical abundance measurements. Combining our data with literature results produces a compilation of some 68 chemical abundance measurements in 49 unique clusters. For this combined sample, we study the chemical abundances of open clusters as a function of distance, age, and metallicity. We confirm that the metallicity gradient in the outer disk is flatter than the gradient in the vicinity of the solar neighborhood. We also confirm that the open clusters in the outer disk are metal-poor with enhancements in the ratios [$\alpha$/Fe] and perhaps [Eu/Fe]. All elements show negligible or small trends between [X/Fe] and distance (<0.02dexkpc$^{-1}$), but for some elements, there is a hint that the local (R$_{GC}$< 13kpc) and distant (R$_{GC}$> 13kpc) samples may have different trends with distance. There is no evidence for significant abundance trends versus age (<0.04dex Gyr$^{-1}$). We measure the linear relation between [X/Fe] and metallicity, [Fe/H], and find that the scatter about the mean trend is comparable to the measurement uncertainties. Comparison with solar neighborhood field giants shows that the open clusters share similar abundance ratios [X/Fe] at a given metallicity. While the flattening of the metallicity gradient and enhanced [$\alpha$/Fe] ratios in the outer disk suggest a chemical enrichment history different from that of the solar neighborhood, we echo the sentiments expressed by Friel etal. that definitive conclusions await homogeneous analyses of larger samples of stars in larger numbers of clusters. Arguably, our understanding of the evolution of the outer disk from open clusters is currently limited by systematic abundance differences between various studies.



Galaxy: abundances, Galaxy: disk, open clusters and associations: general


Yong, D., Carney, B. W., & Friel, E. D. (2012). Elemental abundance ratios in stars of the outer galactic disk. IV. A new sample of open clusters. Astronomical Journal, 144(4), 95. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-6256/144/4/95


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