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Paper: The Transition between the Inner Disc and the Innermost Galactic Regions
Volume: 491, Fifty Years of Wide Field Studies in the Southern Hemisphere: Resolved Stellar Populations in the Galactic Bulge and the Magellanic Clouds
Page: 148
Authors: Bono, G.; Genovali, K.; Lemasle, B.; Romaniello, M.; Nonino, M.; Bergemann, M.; Buonanno, R.; Fabrizio, M.; François, P.; Inno, L.; Laney, C.; Matsunaga, N.; Pedicelli, S.; Primas, F.; Thévenin, F.
Abstract: We discuss the iron and the α-element gradients in the Galactic disc and in the innermost Galactic regions (bulge, bar, nuclear bulge). Accurate spectroscopic measurements of young stellar tracers show a well defined iron gradient between the inner and the outer disc. The same outcome applies to light, α, and heavy elements. Moreover, the [α/Fe] ratio attains solar values over a significant fraction of the disc, in the bar and in the nuclear bulge. Thus suggesting that the slopes of iron and α–elements attain quite similar values. There is evidence of a mild enhancement in the outer disc, but this is the consequence of the steady decrease in iron abundance. Current findings do not allow us to constrain whether the chemical enrichment in the nuclear bulge and in the bar is currently driven by bar instabilities. The recent results by the ARGOS spectroscopic survey of intermediate-age stellar tracers (red clump) suggest that the metal-rich stellar components associated with the boxy/peanut bulge show evidence of a mild iron gradient, while the metal-poor component associated with the thick disc/halo shows a flat iron distribution across the bulge. The [α/Fe] ratio of the metal-rich components is slightly enhanced in the bulge, but attains a solar value in the disc. On the other hand, the metal-poor component is α-enhanced both in the bulge and at larger Galactocentric distances. The chemical enrichment history of the bulge supports N-body simulations suggesting that the bulge formed via a bar-forming and bar-buckling instabilities (Ness et al. 2013a,b).
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