Early r-process enrichment in the halo: Process and implications/The future role of the Nordic Optical Telescope

I: Early r-process enrichment in the halo: Process and implications

Current thinking suggests that the outer Galactic halo formed first, with stars dominated by fresh C(NO) elements, but soon with increasing amounts of heavier elements. The now appreciable sample of extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars with [Fe/H] ~ -3 trace the transition to this chemically more diversified regime. A small fraction of these EMP giants contain r-process elements in proportions ranging from less than unity to near 100 times Solar, relative to Fe. The origin of these elements, and their possible role as tracers of the structure of the early ISM, are becoming clarified through new results from the NOT.

II: The future role of the Nordic Optical Telescope

The Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT), located on La Palma, is a well-known member of the group of European 2-4m telescopes. As the roles of these telescopes become more specialised and better coordinated, the agreed strategy for the future of the NOT is to specialise on transient and variable sources. To this end, we plan to equip the telescope with a single new instrument (a clone of the X-shooter), operated in parallel with the high-resolution spectrograph FIES. This will make the NOT a fully efficient tool for the rapid follow-up of such sources by Nordic and European consortia. This strategy, and the case for a continued operation, will then be reviewed at roughly five-year intervals.

22/09/2011 - 14:00
Johannes Andersen
NOT/University of Copenhagen