S5: The destruction of a bright dwarf galaxy as revealed by the chemistry of the Indus stellar stream

S5 Collaboration, Terese T. Hansen, Alexander P. Ji, Gary S. Da Costa, Ting S. Li, Andrew R. Casey, Andrew B. Pace, Lara R. Cullinane, Denis Erkal, Sergey E. Koposov, Kyler Kuehn, Geraint F. Lewis, Dougal Mackey, Jeffrey D. Simpson, Nora Shipp, Daniel B. Zucker, Joss Bland-Hawthorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The recently discovered Indus stellar stream exhibits a diverse chemical signature compared to what is found for most other streams due to the abundances of two outlier stars, Indus_0 and Indus_13. Indus_13 exhibits an extreme enhancement in rapid neutron-capture (r-)process elements with [Eu/Fe] = + 1.81. It thus provides direct evidence of the accreted nature of r-process-enhanced stars. In this paper we present a detailed chemical analysis of the neutron-capture elements in Indus_13, revealing the star to be slightly actinide poor. The other outlier, Indus_0, displays a globular cluster-like signature with high N, Na, and Al abundances, while the rest of the Indus stars show abundances compatible with a dwarf galaxy origin. Hence, Indus_0 provides the first chemical evidence of a fully disrupted dwarf containing a globular cluster. We use the chemical signature of the Indus stars to discuss the nature of the stream progenitor which was likely a chemically evolved system, with a mass somewhere in the range from Ursa Minor to Fornax.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2021


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