Lighting up stars in chemical evolution models: the CMD of Sculptor

Fiorenzo Vincenzo, Francesca Matteucci, Thomas J L De Boer, Michele Cignoni, Monica Tosi

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    We present a novel approach to draw the synthetic colour–magnitude diagram (CMD) of
    galaxies, which can provide – in principle – a deeper insight in the interpretation and understanding
    of current observations. In particular, we ‘light up’ the stars of chemical evolution
    models, according to their initial mass, metallicity and age, to eventually understand how the
    assumed underlying galaxy formation and evolution scenario affects the final configuration of
    the synthetic CMD. In this way, we obtain a new set of observational constraints for chemical
    evolution models beyond the usual photospheric chemical abundances. The strength of our
    method resides in the very fine grid of metallicities and ages of the assumed data base of stellar
    isochrones. In this work, we apply our photochemical model to reproduce the observed CMD
    of the Sculptor dSph and find that we can reproduce the main features of the observed CMD.
    The main discrepancies are found at fainter magnitudes in the main sequence turn-off and
    sub-giant branch, where the observed CMD extends towards bluer colours than the synthetic
    one; we suggest that this is a signature of metal-poor stellar populations in the data, which
    cannot be captured by our assumed one-zone chemical evolution model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2238-2244
    Number of pages7
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number2
    Early online date13 May 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


    • stars: abundances
    • Hertzprung-Russell and colour-magniture diagrams
    • dwarf
    • Local Group
    • galaxies: stellar content


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