The central ('bulge') region of the Milky Way is teeming with a significant fraction of mildly metal-deficient stars with atmospheres that are strongly enriched in cyanogen (12C14N). Some of these objects, which are also known as nitrogen-enhanced stars, are hypothesised to be relics of the ancient assembly history of the Milky Way. Although the chemical similarity of nitrogen-enhanced stars to the unique chemical patterns observed in globular clusters has been observed, a direct connection between field stars and globular clusters has not yet been proven. In this work, we report on high-resolution, near-infrared spectroscopic observations of the bulge globular cluster NGC 6723, and the serendipitous discovery of a star, 2M18594405-3651518, located outside the cluster (near the tidal radius) but moving on a similar orbit, providing the first clear piece of evidence of a star that was very likely once a cluster member and has recently been ejected. Its nitrogen abundance ratio ([N/Fe] + 0.94) is well above the typical Galactic field-star levels, and it exhibits noticeable enrichment in the heavy s-process elements (Ce, Nd, and Yb), along with moderate carbon enrichment; all characteristics are known examples in globular clusters. This result suggests that some of the nitrogen-enhanced stars in the bulge likely originated from the tidal disruption of globular clusters.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Astronomía y astrofísica
- Ciencias planetarias y espacial