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Fossil Imprints of Outflow from the Galactic Bulge in Elemental Abundances of Metal-Rich Disk Stars

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Type
Preprint
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DOI: 10.1086/521399
Source
arXiv
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Unknown
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Abstract

We explore the elemental abundance features of metal-rich disk stars, highlighting the comparisons made with those of the recently revealed Galactic bulge stars. A similarity between two of the comparisons leads to a new theoretical picture of the bulge-disk connection in the Galaxy, where a supermassive black hole resides at the center. We postulate that a metal-rich outflow, triggered by feedback from a black hole, was generated and quenched the star formation, which had lasted several billion years in the bulge. The expelled gas cooled down in the Galactic halo without escaping from the gravitational potential of the Galaxy. The gas gradually started to accrete to the disk around five billion years ago, corresponding to the time of sun's birth, and replaced a low-metallicity halo gas that had been accreting over nearly ten billion years. The metal-rich infalling gas, whose elemental abundance reflects that of metal-rich bulge stars, mixed with the interstellar gas already present in the disk. Stars formed from the mixture compose the metal-rich stellar disk. This scheme is incorporated into models for chemical evolution of the disk. The resultant elemental features are compatible with the observed abundance trends of metal-rich disk stars, including the upturning feature exhibited in some [X/Fe] ratios, whose interpretation was theoretically puzzling. Furthermore, the predicted abundance distribution function of disk stars covers all observational facts to be considered: (i) the deficiency of metal-poor stars, (ii) the location of peak, and (iii) the extended metal-rich tail up to [Fe/H] ~ +0.4.

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