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Astrophysics

Title: Present-Day Carbon Abundances of Early-Type Stars

Abstract: Carbon is one of the most abundant metals in the universe because of its synthesis in the fundamental triple alpha reaction. The knowledge of carbon abundances in different environments is one key ingredient to our understanding of stellar and galactochemical evolution. Studies of luminous OB-type stars allow us to address both topics even in galaxies beyond our own. Unfortunately the history of carbon abundance determinations from these objects in the last three decades is one of limited success. Analyses of the strong and weak line spectra of C II as well as C III tend to be largely discrepant. We present results of quantitative spectral analyses based on a sophisticated model atom for non-LTE line-formation calculations of C II-IV. As a first application, carbon abundances in a sample of B-type dwarfs and giants in nearby associations and in the field are determined. Consistency is finally achieved for all measurable lines (up to 40) from the three ionization stages. This includes in particular the notorious C II 4267 and 6578/6582 A features which are highly important for abundance determinations of fast-rotating and extragalactic objects. The long-standing problem of carbon line-formation can now be regarded as solved, with the previous difficulties related to the use of inaccurate atomic data and stellar parameters. A highly homogeneous and slightly sub-solar present-day carbon abundance from young stars in the solar vicinity of log C/H+12= 8.32+/-0.04 is derived
Comments: 5 pages, 3 figures. Refereed contribution to Nuclei in the Cosmos IX, Proceedings of Science, PoS(NIC-IX)150, accepted. Minor changes have been included (It can also be downloaded from PoS: this http URL)
Subjects: Astrophysics (astro-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:astro-ph/0609722
  (or arXiv:astro-ph/0609722v2 for this version)

Submission history

From: Maria Fernanda Nieva [view email]
[v1] Tue, 26 Sep 2006 19:56:23 GMT (97kb)
[v2] Fri, 23 Mar 2007 16:06:23 GMT (87kb)