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

Magrini, L.; Vincenzo, F.; Randich, S.; Pancino, E.; Casali, G.; Tautvaisiene, G.; Drazdauskas, A.; Mikolaitis, S.; Minkeviciute, R.; Stonkute, E.; Chorniy, Y.; Bagdonas, V.; Kordopatis, G.; Frie, E.; Roccatagliata, V.; Jimenez-Esteban, F. M.; Gilmore, G.; Vallenari, A.; Bensby, T.; Bragaglia, A.; Korn, A. J.; Lanzafame, A. C.; Smiljanic, R.; Bayo, A.; Casey, A. R.; Costado, M. T.; Franciosini, E.; Hourihane, A.; Jofré; Lewis, J.; Monaco, L.; Morbidelli, L.; Sacco, G.; Worley, C.
eprint arXiv:1807.06297


The abundance ratio N/O is a useful tool to study the interplay of galactic processes, e.g. star formation efficiency, time-scale of infall and outflow loading factor We aim to trace log(N/O) versus [Fe/H] in the Milky Way and to compare it with a set of chemical evolution models to understand the role of infall, outflow and star formation efficiency in the building-up of the Galactic disc. We use the abundances from idr2-3, idr4, idr5 data releases of the Gaia-ESO Survey both for Galactic field and open cluster stars.We determine membership and average composition of open clusters and we separate thin and thick disc field stars.We consider the effect of mixing in the abundance of N in giant stars. We compute a grid of chemical evolution models, suited to reproduce the main features of our Galaxy, exploring the effects of the star formation efficiency, the infall time-scale and the differential outflow. With our samples, we map the metallicity range -0.6<[Fe/H]<0.3 with a corresponding -1.2<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 different parts of the Galaxy. Our spatially resolved results allow us to distinguish differences 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 time-scale is needed in the inner regions, while the outer regions need a longer infall time-scale, coupled with a higher star formation efficiency. 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.