X-shooter GTO: Evidence for a population of extremely metal-poor, alpha-poor stars

E. Caffau, P. Bonifacio, P. François, L. Sbordone, M. Spite, L. Monaco, B. Plez, F. Spite, S. Zaggia, H. G. Ludwig, R. Cayrel, P. Molaro, S. Randich, F. Hammer, V. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Context. The extremely metal-poor stars are the direct descendants of the first generation stars. They carry the chemical signature of the pristine Universe at the time they formed, shortly after the Big Bang. Aims. We aim to derive information about extremely metal-poor stars from their observed spectra. Methods. Four extremely metal-poor stars were selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and observed during the guaranteed observing time of X-shooter. The X-shooter spectra were analysed using an automatic code, MyGIsFOS, which is based on a traditional analysis method. It makes use of a synthetic grid computed from one-dimensional, plane-parallel, hydrostatic model atmospheres. Results. The low metallicity derived from the SDSS spectra is confirmed here. Two kinds of stars are found. Two stars are confirmed to be extremely metal-poor, with no evidence of any enhancement in carbon. The two other stars are strongly enhanced in carbon. We could not derive iron abundance for one of them, while [Ca/H] is below-4.5. Two of the stars are members of the rare population of extremely metal-poor stars low in alpha elements.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA15
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Galaxy: abundances
  • Galaxy: formation
  • Galaxy: halo
  • Stars: Population II
  • Stars: abundances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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