Detailed Abundance Analysis of the Brightest Star in Segue 2, the Least Massive Galaxy [GA]

We present the first high resolution spectroscopic observations of one red giant star in the ultra-faint dwarf galaxy Segue 2, which has the lowest total mass (including dark matter) estimated for any known galaxy. These observations were made using the MIKE spectrograph on the Magellan II Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory. We perform a standard abundance analysis of this star, SDSS J021933.13+200830.2, and present abundances of 21 species of 18 elements as well as upper limits for 25 additional species. We derive [Fe/H] = -2.9, in excellent agreement with previous estimates from medium resolution spectroscopy. Our main result is that this star bears the chemical signatures commonly found in field stars of similar metallicity. The heavy elements produced by neutron-capture reactions are present, but they are deficient at levels characteristic of stars in other ultra-faint dwarf galaxies and a few luminous dwarf galaxies. The otherwise normal abundance patterns suggest that the gas from which this star formed was enriched by metals from multiple Type II supernovae reflecting a relatively well-sampled IMF. This adds to the growing body of evidence indicating that Segue 2 may have been substantially more massive in the past.

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I. Roederer and E. Kirby
Thu, 13 Mar 14