Adding the s-Process Element Cerium to the APOGEE Survey: Identification and Characterization of Ce II Lines in the H-band Spectral Window

Katia Cunha, Verne V. Smith, Sten Hasselquist, Diogo Souto, Matthew D. Shetrone, Carlos Allende Prieto, Dmitry Bizyaev, Peter Frinchaboy, D. Anibal García-Hernández, Jon Holtzman, Jennifer A. Johnson, Henrik Jnsson, Steven R. Majewski, Szabolcs Mészáros, David Nidever, Mark Pinsonneault, Ricardo P. Schiavon, Jennifer Sobeck, Michael F. Skrutskie, Olga ZamoraGail Zasowski, J. G. Fernández-Trincado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Nine Ce ii lines have been identified and characterized within the spectral window observed by the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey (between λ1.51 and 1.69 μm). At solar metallicities, cerium is an element that is produced predominantly as a result of the slow capture of neutrons (the s-process) during asymptotic giant branch stellar evolution. The Ce ii lines were identified using a combination of a high-resolution (R= λ/δλ) Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) spectrum of α Boo and an APOGEE spectrum (R = 22,400) of a metal-poor, but s-process enriched, red giant (2M16011638-1201525). Laboratory oscillator strengths are not available for these lines. Astrophysical gf-values were derived using α Boo as a standard star, with the absolute cerium abundance in α Boo set by using optical Ce ii lines that have precise published laboratory gf-values. The near-infrared Ce ii lines identified here are also analyzed, as consistency checks, in a small number of bright red giants using archival FTS spectra, as well as a small sample of APOGEE red giants, including two members of the open cluster NGC 6819, two field stars, and seven metal-poor N- and Al-rich stars. The conclusion is that this set of Ce ii lines can be detected and analyzed in a large fraction of the APOGEE red giant sample and will be useful for probing chemical evolution of the s-process products in various populations of the Milky Way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number145
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • stars: abundances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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