The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey will obtain high quality spectroscopy of some 100,000 Milky Way stars, in the field and in open clusters, down to magnitude 19, systematically covering

images/articleimg/Selection_003.png major components of the Milky Way. This survey will provide the first homogeneous overview of the distributions of kinematics and chemical element abundances in the Galaxy.

The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey employs the VLT FLAMES instrument (both GIRAFFE and UVES) for high quality spectroscopy of some 100,000 stars in the Milky Way. This survey has beenawarded 300-nights over the coming five years, with the first data being taken in December 2011.
Element abundance distribution functions of the Milky Way Bulge, the thick Disc, the thin Disc, and the Halo stellar components, as well as a very significant sample of 100 open clusters, covering all accessible cluster ages and stellar masses. This alone will revolutionise knowledge of Galactic and stellar evolution. When combined with precision astrometry, delivering accurate distances, 3D spatial distributions, 3D space motions, and improved astrophysical parameters for each star, the survey will quantify the formation history and evolution of young, mature and ancient Galactic populations. The precision astrometry will be provided by the Gaia “Galactic census”, with the first astrometric data release likely to occur in 2016, in time for the full
analysis of the complete Gaia-ESO Survey data.

The Vilnius node of the survey adds significant input in the survey results:

We are one of the nodes, that provides main atmospheric parameters and chemical abundances for stars observed using UVES spectrograph. Specifically we are the only node to derive carbon and nitrogen abundances form molecular lines.

Together with Nice node we derive abundances from GIRAFFE spectra. Our common work is 1/3 of the input for GIRAFFE abundance analysis. We are mostly interested in Galactic abundance gradients.

Members of Vilnius group:

Gražina Tautvaišienė - group leader

Edita Stonkutė

Renata Ženovienė

Eduardas Puzeras

Šarūnas Mikolaitis

Jurij Chornij

Arnas Drazdauskas

What we achieved? Our recent achievements are already published in a number of papers:


The Gaia-ESO Survey: CNO abundances in the open clusters Trumpler 20, NGC 4815, and NGC 6705

Context. The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey will observe a large sample of clusters and cluster stars, covering a wide age-distance-metallicity-position-density parameter space.
Aims: We aim to determine C, N, and O abundances in stars of Galactic open clusters of the Gaia-ESO survey and to compare the observed abundances with those predicted by current stellar and Galactic evolution models. In this pilot paper, we investigate the first three intermediate-age open clusters.
Methods: High-resolution spectra, observed with the FLAMES-UVES spectrograph on the ESO VLT, were analysed using a differential model atmosphere method. Abundances of carbon were derived using the C2 band heads at 5135 and 5635.5 Å. The wavelength interval 6470-6490 Å, with CN features, was analysed to determine nitrogen abundances. Oxygen abundances were determined from the [O i] line at 6300 Å.
Results: The mean values of the elemental abundances in Trumpler 20 as determined from 42 stars are: [ Fe/H ] = 0.10 ± 0.08 (s.d.), [ C/H ] = -0.10 ± 0.07, [ N/H ] = 0.50 ± 0.07, and consequently C/N = 0.98 ± 0.12. We measure from five giants in NGC 4815: [ Fe/H ] = -0.01 ± 0.04, [ C/H ] = -0.17 ± 0.08, [ N/H ] = 0.53 ± 0.07, [ O/H ] = 0.12 ± 0.09, and C/N = 0.79 ± 0.08. We obtain from 27 giants in NGC 6705: [ Fe/H ] = 0.0 ± 0.05, [ C/H ] = -0.08 ± 0.06, [ N/H ] = 0.61 ± 0.07, [ O/H ] = 0.13 ± 0.05, and C/N = 0.83 ± 0.19. The C/N ratios of stars in the investigated open clusters were compared with the ratios predicted by stellar evolutionary models. For the corresponding stellar turn-off masses from 1.9 to 3.3 M&sun;, the observed C/N ratio values are very close to the predictions of standard first dredge-up models as well as to models of thermohaline extra-mixing. They are not decreased as much as predicted by the recent model in which the thermohaline- and rotation-induced extra-mixing act together. The average [O/H] abundance ratios of NGC 4815 and NGC 6705 are compared with the predictions of two Galactic chemical evolution models. The data are consistent with the evolution at the solar radius within the errors.
Conclusions: The first results of CNO determinations in open clusters show the potential of the Gaia-ESO Survey to judge stellar and Galactic chemical evolution models and the validity of their physical assumptions through a homogeneous and detailed spectral analysis.

Based on data products from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme ID 188.B-3002 (The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey, PIs G. Gilmore and S. Randich).


The Gaia-ESO Survey: the chemical structure of the Galactic discs from the first internal data release

Aims: Until recently, most high-resolution spectroscopic studies of the Galactic thin and thick discs were mostly confined to objects in the solar vicinity. Here we aim at enlarging the volume in which individual chemical abundances are used to characterise the thin and thick discs, using the first internal data release of the Gaia-ESO survey (GES iDR1).
Methods: We used the spectra of around 2000 FGK dwarfs and giants from the GES iDR1, obtained at resolutions of up to R ~ 20 000 with the FLAMES/GIRAFFE spectrograph. We derive and discuss the abundances of eight elements (Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, Fe, Cr, Ni, and Y).
Results: We show that the trends of these elemental abundances with iron are very similar to those in the solar neighbourhood. We find a natural division between alpha-rich and alpha-poor stars, best seen in the bimodality of the [Mg/M] distributions in bins of metallicity, which we attribute to thick- and thin-disc sequences, respectively. This separation is visible for most alpha-elements and for aluminium. With the possible exception of Al, the observed dispersion around the trends is well described by the expected errors, leaving little room for astrophysical dispersion. Using previously derived distances from the first paper from this series for our sample, we further find that the thick-disc is more extended vertically and is more centrally concentrated towards the inner Galaxy than the thin-disc, which indicates a shorter scale-length. We derive the radial (4 to 12 kpc) and vertical (0 to 3.5 kpc) gradients in metallicity, iron, four alpha-element abundances, and aluminium for the two populations, taking into account the identified correlation between RGC and | Z |. Similarly to other works, a radial metallicity gradient is found in the thin disc. The positive radial individual [alpha/M] gradients found are at variance from the gradients observed in the RAVE survey. The thin disc also hosts a negative vertical metallicity gradient in the solar cylinder, accompanied by positive individual [alpha/M] and [Al/M] gradients. The thick-disc, on the other hand, presents no radial metallicity gradient, a shallower vertical metallicity gradient than the thin-disc, an alpha-elements-to-iron radial gradient in the opposite sense than that of the thin disc, and positive vertical individual [alpha/M] and [Al/M] gradients. We examine several thick-disc formation scenarii in the light of these radial and vertical trends.


 The Gaia-ESO Survey: CNO abundances in open clusters of our Galaxy

Up to 80 open clusters will be observed in the Gaia-ESO survey with the high-resolution FLAMES-UVES spectrograph on the ESO VLT telescope. We aim to determine C, N and O abundances in stars of Galactic open clusters of the Gaia-ESO survey and to compare the observed abundances with those predicted by current stellar and Galactic evolution models. The CNO abundances in Trumpler 20 were determined for 42 stars, for five giants in NGC 4815, and for 27 giants in NGC 6705. The C/N ratios of stars in the investigated open clusters were compared with the ratios predicted by stellar evolutionary models. For the corresponding stellar turn-off masses from 1.9 to 3.3 M_toff, the observed C/N ratio values are very close to the pre- dictions of standard first dredge-up models as well as to models of thermohaline extra-mixing. They are not decreased as much as predicted by the recent model in which the thermohaline- and rotation-induced extra-mixing act together. The first results of CNO determinations in open clusters show the potential of the Gaia-ESO. Survey to judge stellar and Galactic chemical evolution models and the validity of their physical assumptions through a homogeneous and detailed spectral analysis.


 The Gaia-ESO Survey: The analysis of high-resolution UVES spectra of FGK-type stars

Context. The ongoing Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey is using FLAMES at the VLT to obtain high-quality medium-resolution Giraffe spectra for about 105 stars and high-resolution UVES spectra for about 5000 stars. With UVES, the Survey has already observed 1447 FGK-type stars.
Aims: These UVES spectra are analyzed in parallel by several state-of-the-art methodologies. Our aim is to present how these analyses were implemented, to discuss their results, and to describe how a final recommended parameter scale is defined. We also discuss the precision (method-to-method dispersion) and accuracy (biases with respect to the reference values) of the final parameters. These results are part of the Gaia-ESO second internal release and will be part of its first public release of advanced data products.
Methods: The final parameter scale is tied to the scale defined by the Gaia benchmark stars, a set of stars with fundamental atmospheric parameters. In addition, a set of open and globular clusters is used to evaluate the physical soundness of the results. Each of the implemented methodologies is judged against the benchmark stars to define weights in three different regions of the parameter space. The final recommended results are the weighted medians of those from the individual methods.
Results: The recommended results successfully reproduce the atmospheric parameters of the benchmark stars and the expected Teff-log g relation of the calibrating clusters. Atmospheric parameters and abundances have been determined for 1301 FGK-type stars observed with UVES. The median of the method-to-method dispersion of the atmospheric parameters is 55 K for Teff, 0.13 dex for log g and 0.07 dex for [Fe/H]. Systematic biases are estimated to be between 50-100 K for Teff, 0.10-0.25 dex for log g and 0.05-0.10 dex for [Fe/H]. Abundances for 24 elements were derived: C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Y, Zr, Mo, Ba, Nd, and Eu. The typical method-to-method dispersion of the abundances varies between 0.10 and 0.20 dex.
Conclusions: The Gaia-ESO sample of high-resolution spectra of FGK-type stars will be among the largest of its kind analyzed in a homogeneous way. The extensive list of elemental abundances derived in these stars will enable significant advances in the areas of stellar evolution and Milky Way formation and evolution.




We provided our results and ideas to the research of other topics:


The Gaia-ESO Survey: alpha-abundances of metal-poor stars

Jackson-Jones, R. et al 2014

 We performed a detailed study of the ratio of low-alpha to high-alpha stars in the Galactic halo as observed by the Gaia-ESO Survey. Using a sample of 381 metal-poor stars from the second internal data release, we found that the value of this ratio did not show evidence of systematic trends as a function of metallicity, surface gravity, Galactic latitude, Galactic longitude, height above the Galactic plane, and Galactocentric radius. We conclude that the alphapoor/alpharich value of 0.28 ± 0.08 suggests that in the inner halo, the larger portion of stars were formed in a high star formation rate environment, and about 15% of the metal-poor stars originated from much lower star formation rate environments.


 The Gaia-ESO Survey: Stellar content and elemental abundances in the massive cluster NGC 6705

Cantat-Gaudin, T. et al. 2014

Context. Chemically inhomogeneous populations are observed in most globular clusters, but not in open clusters. Cluster mass seems to play a key role in the existence of multiple populations.
Aims: Studying the chemical homogeneity of the most massive open clusters is needed to better understand the mechanism of their formation and determine the mass limit under which clusters cannot host multiple populations. Here we studied NGC 6705, which is a young and massive open cluster located towards the inner region of the Milky Way. This cluster is located inside the solar circle. This makes it an important tracer of the inner disk abundance gradient.
Methods: This study makes use of BVI and ri photometry and comparisons with theoretical isochrones to derive the age of NGC 6705. We study the density profile of the cluster and the mass function to infer the cluster mass. Based on abundances of the chemical elements distributed in the first internal data release of the Gaia-ESO Survey, we study elemental ratios and the chemical homogeneity of the red clump stars. Radial velocities enable us to study the rotation and internal kinematics of the cluster.
Results: The estimated ages range from 250 to 316 Myr, depending on the adopted stellar model. Luminosity profiles and mass functions show strong signs of mass segregation. We derive the mass of the cluster from its luminosity function and from the kinematics, finding values between 3700 M&sun; and 11 000 M&sun;. After selecting the cluster members from their radial velocities, we obtain a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.10 ± 0.06 based on 21 candidate members. Moreover, NGC 6705 shows no sign of the typical correlations or anti-correlations between Al, Mg, Si, and Na, which are expected in multiple populations. This is consistent with our cluster mass estimate, which is lower than the required mass limit proposed in the literature to develop multiple populations.


The Gaia-ESO Survey: Metallicity of the Chamaeleon I star-forming region

Spina, L et al. 2014

Context. Recent metallicity determinations in young open clusters and star-forming regions suggest that the latter may be characterized by a slightly lower metallicity than the Sun and older clusters in the solar vicinity. However, these results are based on small statistics and inhomogeneous analyses. The Gaia-ESO Survey is observing and homogeneously analyzing large samples of stars in several young clusters and star-forming regions, hence allowing us to further investigate this issue.
Aims: We present a new metallicity determination of the Chamaeleon I star-forming region, based on the products distributed in the first internal release of the Gaia-ESO Survey.
Methods: The 48 candidate members of Chamaeleon I have been observed with the high-resolution, spectrograph UVES. We use the surface gravity, lithium line equivalent width, and position in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram to confirm the cluster members, and we use the iron abundance to derive the mean metallicity of the region.
Results: Out of the 48 targets, we confirm 15 high probability members. Considering the metallicity measurements for nine of them, we find that the iron abundance of Chamaeleon I is slightly subsolar with a mean value [Fe/H] = -0.08 ± 0.04 dex. This result agrees with the metallicity determination of other nearby star-forming regions and suggests that the chemical pattern of the youngest stars in the solar neighborhood is indeed more metal-poor than the Sun. We argue that this evidence may be related to the chemical distribution of the Gould Belt that contains most of the nearby star-forming regions and young clusters.


The Gaia-ESO Survey: radial metallicity gradients and age-metallicity relation of stars in the Milky Way disk

Bergemann, M. et al. 2014

We study the relationship between age, metallicity, and alpha-enhancement of FGK stars in the Galactic disk. The results are based upon the analysis of high-resolution UVES spectra from the Gaia-ESO large stellar survey. We explore the limitations of the observed dataset, i.e. the accuracy of stellar parameters and the selection effects that are caused by the photometric target preselection. We find that the colour and magnitude cuts in the survey suppress old metal-rich stars and young metal-poor stars. This suppression may be as high as 97% in some regions of the age-metallicity relationship. The dataset consists of 144 stars with a wide range of ages from 0.5 Gyr to 13.5 Gyr, Galactocentric distances from 6 kpcto 9.5 kpc, and vertical distances from the plane 0 < |Z| < 1.5 kpc. On this basis, we find that i) the observed age-metallicity relation is nearly flat in the range of ages between 0 Gyr and 8 Gyr; ii) at ages older than 9 Gyr, we see a decrease in [Fe/H] and a clear absence of metal-rich stars; this cannot be explained by the survey selection functions; iii) there is a significant scatter of [Fe/H] at any age; and iv) [Mg/Fe] increases with age, but the dispersion of [Mg/Fe] at ages >9 Gyr is not as small as advocated by some other studies. In agreement with earlier work, we find that radial abundance gradients change as a function of vertical distance from the plane. The [Mg/Fe] gradient steepens and becomes negative. In addition, we show that the inner disk is not only more alpha-rich compared to the outer disk, but also older, as traced independently by the ages and Mg abundances of stars.


Gaia-ESO Survey: Properties of the intermediate age open cluster NGC 4815

 Friel, E. et al 2014

Context. NGC 4815 is a populous ~500 Myr open cluster at Rgc ~ 7 kpc observed in the first six months of the Gaia-ESO Survey. Located in the inner Galactic disk, NGC 4815 is an important potential tracer of the abundance gradient, where relatively few intermediate age open clusters are found.
Aims: The Gaia-ESO Survey data can provide an improved characterization of the cluster properties, such as age, distance, reddening, and abundance profile.
Methods: We use the survey derived radial velocities, stellar atmospheric parameters, metallicity, and elemental abundances for stars targeted as potential members of this cluster to carry out an analysis of cluster properties. The radial velocity distribution of stars in the cluster field is used to define the cluster systemic velocity and derive likely cluster membership for stars observed by the Gaia-ESO Survey. We investigate the distributions of Fe and Fe-peak elements, alpha-elements, and the light elements Na and Al and characterize the cluster's internal chemical homogeneity comparing it to the properties of radial velocity non-member stars. Utilizing these cluster properties, the cluster color-magnitude diagram is analyzed and theoretical isochrones are fit to derive cluster reddening, distance, and age.
Results: NGC 4815 is found to have a mean metallicity of [Fe/H] = +0.03 ± 0.05 dex (s.d.). Elemental abundances of cluster members show typically very small internal variation, with internal dispersions of ~0.05 dex. The alpha-elements [Ca/Fe] and [Si/Fe] show solar ratios, but [Mg/Fe] is moderately enhanced, while [Ti/Fe] appears slightly deficient. As with many open clusters, the light elements [Na/Fe] and [Al/Fe] are enhanced, [Na/Fe] significantly so, although the role of internal mixing and the assumption of local thermodynamical equilibrium in the analysis remain to be investigated. From isochrone fits to color-magnitude diagrams, we find a cluster age of 0.5 to 0.63 Gyr, a reddening of E(B - V) = 0.59 to 0.65, and a distance modulus (m - M)0 = 11.95 to 12.20, depending on the choice of theoretical models, leading to a Galactocentric distance of 6.9 kpc.


The Gaia-ESO Survey: Abundance ratios in the inner-disk open clusters Trumpler 20, NGC 4815, NGC 6705

Magrini, L. et al. 2014

Context. Open clusters are key tools to study the spatialdistribution of abundances in the disk and their evolution with time.
Aims: Using the first release of stellar parameters and abundances of the Gaia-ESO Survey, we analyse the chemical properties of stars in three old/intermediate-age open clusters, namely NGC 6705, NGC 4815, and Trumpler 20, which are all located in the inner part of the Galactic disk at Galactocentric radius RGC ~ 7 kpc. We aim to prove their homogeneity and to compare them with the field population.
Methods: We study the abundance ratios of elements belonging to two different nucleosynthetic channels: alpha-elements and iron-peak elements. For each element, we analyse the internal chemical homogeneity of cluster members, and we compare the cumulative distributions of cluster abundance ratios with those of solar neighbourhood turn-off stars and of inner-disk/bulge giants. We compare the abundance ratios of field and cluster stars with two chemical evolution models that predict different alpha-enhancement dependences on the Galactocentric distance due to different assumptions on the infall and star-formation rates.
Results: The main results can be summarised as follows: i) cluster members are chemically homogeneous within 3sigma in all analysed elements; ii) the three clusters have comparable [El/Fe] patterns within ~1sigma, but they differ in their global metal content [El/H] with NGC 4815 having the lowest metallicity; their [El/Fe] ratios show differences and analogies with those of the field population, in both the solar neighbourhood and the bulge/inner disk; iii) comparing the abundance ratios with the results of two chemical evolution models and with field star abundance distributions, we find that the abundance ratios of Mg, Ni, and Ca in NGC 6705 might require an inner birthplace, implying a subsequent variation in its RGC during its lifetime, which is consistent with previous orbit determination.
Conclusions: Using the results of the first internal data release, we show the potential of the Gaia-ESO Survey through a homogeneous and detailed analysis of the cluster versus field populations to reveal the chemical structure of our Galaxy using a completely uniform analysis of different populations. We verify that the Gaia-ESO Survey data are able to identify the unique chemical properties of each cluster by pinpointing the composition of the interstellar medium at the epoch and place of formation. The full dataset of the Gaia-ESO Survey is a superlative tool to constrain the chemical evolution of our Galaxy by disentangling different formation and evolution scenarios.