The Gaia -ESO Survey: The N/O abundance ratio in the Milky Way?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Context. The abundance ratio N/O is a useful tool to study the interplay of galactic processes, for example star formation e ciency, timescale of infall, and outflow loading factor. Aims. We aim to trace log(N/O) versus [Fe/H] in the Milky Way and to compare this ratio with a set of chemical evolution models to understand the role of infall, outflow, and star formation e ciency in the building up of the Galactic disc. Methods. We used the abundances from IDR2-3, IDR4, IDR5 data releases of the Gaia-ESO Survey both for Galactic field and open cluster stars. We determined membership and average composition of open clusters and we separated thin and thick disc field stars. We considered the e ect of mixing in the abundance of N in giant stars. We computed a grid of chemical evolution models, suited to reproduce the main features of our Galaxy, exploring the e ects of the star formation e ciency, infall timescale, and di erential outflow. Results. With our samples, we map the metallicity range0:6 [Fe/H] 0.3 with a corresponding1:2 log(N/O) 0:2, where the secondary production of N dominates. Thanks to the wide range of Galactocentric distances covered by our samples, we can distinguish the behaviour of log(N/O) in di erent parts of the Galaxy. Conclusions. Our spatially resolved results allow us to distinguish di erences in the evolution of N/O with Galactocentric radius. Comparing the data with our models, we can characterise the radial regions of our Galaxy. A shorter infall timescale is needed in the inner regions, while the outer regions need a longer infall timescale, coupled with a higher star formation e ciency. We compare our results with nebular abundances obtained in MaNGA galaxies, finding in our Galaxy a much wider range of log(N/O) than in integrated observations of external galaxies of similar stellar mass, but similar to the ranges found in studies of individual H II regions.


  • L. Magrini
  • F. Vincenzo
  • S. Randich
  • E. Pancino
  • G. Casali
  • G. Tautvaišien
  • A. Drazdauskas
  • S. Mikolaitis
  • R. Minkevičiūt
  • E. Stonkut
  • Y. Chorniy
  • V. Bagdonas
  • G. Kordopatis
  • E. Friel
  • V. Roccatagliata
  • F. M. Jiménez-Esteban
  • G. Gilmore
  • A. Vallenari
  • A. Bragaglia
  • A. J. Korn
  • A. C. Lanzafame
  • R. Smiljanic
  • A. Bayo
  • A. R. Casey
  • M. T. Costado
  • E. Franciosini
  • A. Hourihane
  • P. Jofré
  • J. Lewis
  • L. Monaco
  • L. Morbidelli
  • G. Sacco
  • C. Worley
External organisations
  • INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • Italian Space Agency
  • University of Florence
  • Vilnius University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Cambridge
  • INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova
  • INAF Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, Bologna
  • Uppsala University
  • University of Catania
  • Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • University of Valparaíso
  • Monash University
  • University of Cádiz
  • Diego Portales University
  • Andrés Bello National University
  • University of Côte d'Azur
  • Astrobiology Centre
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • Galaxy: abundances, Galaxy: disk, Open clusters and associations: general
Original languageEnglish
Article number33224
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 17
Publication categoryResearch