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Thomas Bensby. Profile photo.

Thomas Bensby

Senior lecturer

Thomas Bensby. Profile photo.

Principal Component Abundance Analysis of Microlensed Bulge Dwarf and Subgiant Stars


  • B. H. Andrews
  • D. H. Weinberg
  • J. A. Johnson
  • Thomas Bensby
  • Sofia Feltzing

Summary, in English

Elemental abundance patterns can provide vital clues to the formation and enrichment history of a stellar population. Here we present an investigation of the Galactic bulge, where we apply principal component abundance analysis (PCAA) - a principal component decomposition of relative abundances [X/Fe] to a sample of 35 microlensed bulge dwarf and subgiant stars, characterizing their distribution in the 12-dimensional space defined by their measured elemental abundances. The first principal component PC I, which suffices to describe the abundance patterns of most stars in the sample, shows a strong contribution from alpha-elements, reflecting the relative contributions of Type II and Type 1a supernovae. The second principal component PC2 is characterized by a Na-Ni correlation, the likely product of metallicity-dependent Type II supernova yields. The distribution in PC I is bimodal, showing that the bimodality previously found in the [Fe/H] values of these stars is robustly and independently recovered by looking at only their relative abundance patterns. The two metal-rich stars that are alpha-enhanced have outlier values of PC2 and PC3, respectively, further evidence that they have distinctive enrichment histories. Applying PCAA to a sample of local thin and thick disk dwarfs yields a nearly identical PC I. In PC I, the metal-rich and metal-poor bulge dwarfs track kinematically selected thin and thick disk dwarfs, respectively, suggesting broadly similar alpha-enrichment histories. However, the disk PC2 is dominated by a Y-Ba correlation, likely indicating a contribution of s-process enrichment from long-lived asymptotic giant branch stars that is absent from the bulge PC2 because of its rapid formation.


  • Lund Observatory - Has been reorganised

Publishing year







Acta Astronomica





Document type

Journal article


Copernicus GmbH


  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • Galaxy: general
  • Galaxy: bulge
  • Galaxy: evolution
  • Galaxy: formation
  • Galaxy: stellar content
  • Stars: abundances




  • ISSN: 0001-5237