The lowest metallicity Stars from SDSS/SEGUE

Timothy C. Beers, Young Sun Lee, Thirupathi Sivarani, Daniela Carollo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The first extension of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II), which included the program SEGUE: Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration, ended in July, 2008. This effort, in which JINA was an institutional partner, has already produced the largest sample of medium-resolution stellar spectra yet obtained. These data are revolutionizing our understanding of the nature of the stellar populations of the Milky Way, in particular that of the halo populations. The JINA-developed SEGUE Stellar Parameter Pipeline (SSPP) has obtained estimates of the atmospheric parameters (Teff, log g, [Fe/H]) for more than half of the spectra to date, totaling in excess of 200,000 stars. Here we report on the distribution of stellar metallicity, [Fe/H], for stars in the SDSS/SEGUE database with [Fe/H] < -2.0. This sample now exceeds 16,000 stars, more than triple the number of such stars discovered by all previous surveys combined. We also comment on the prospects for further increases in this sample in the near future, from the next extension of SDSS (SDSS-III), which will include a full year of SEGUE operation from July 2008 to July 2009, and additional "piggy back" observations of stars taken during subsequent years.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of Science
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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