Cobalt and copper abundances in 56 Galactic bulge red giants

H. Ernandes, B. Barbuy, A. C.S. Friaca, V. Hill, M. Zoccali, D. Minniti, A. Renzini, S. Ortolani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Context. The Milky Way bulge is an important tracer of the early formation and chemical enrichment of the Galaxy. The abundances of different iron-peak elements in field bulge stars can give information on the nucleosynthesis processes that took place in the earliest supernovae. Cobalt (Z = 27) and copper (Z = 29) are particularly interesting. Aims. We aim to identify the nucleosynthesis processes responsible for the formation of the iron-peak elements Co and Cu. Methods. We derived abundances of the iron-peak elements cobalt and copper in 56 bulge giants, 13 of which were red clump stars. High-resolution spectra were obtained using FLAMES-UVES at the ESO Very Large Telescope by our group in 2000–2002, which appears to be the highest quality sample of optical high-resolution data on bulge red giants obtained in the literature to date. Over the years we have derived the abundances of C, N, O, Na, Al, Mg; the iron-group elements Mn and Zn; and neutron-capture elements. In the present work we derive abundances of the iron-peak elements cobalt and copper. We also compute chemodynamical evolution models to interpret the observed behaviour of these elements as a function of iron. Results. The sample stars show mean values of [Co/Fe] 0.0 at all metallicities, and [Cu/Fe] 0.0 for [Fe/H]0.8 and decreasing towards lower metallicities with a behaviour of a secondary element. Conclusions. We conclude that [Co/Fe] varies in lockstep with [Fe/H], which indicates that it should be produced in the alpha-rich freezeout mechanism in massive stars. Instead [Cu/Fe] follows the behaviour of a secondary element towards lower metallicities, indicating its production in the weak s-process nucleosynthesis in He-burning and later stages. The chemodynamical models presented here confirm the behaviour of these two elements (i.e. [Co/Fe] vs. [Fe/H]constant and [Cu/Fe] decreasing with decreasing metallicities).

Original languageEnglish
Article number20203786
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Galaxy: abundances
  • Galaxy: bulge
  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: late-type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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