EDP Sciences
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Volume 440, Number 1, September II 2005
Page(s) 321 - 343
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20052797

A&A 440, 321-343 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20052797

Chemical abundances in 43 metal-poor stars

K. Jonsell1, B. Edvardsson1, B. Gustafsson1, P. Magain2, P. E. Nissen3 and M. Asplund4

1  Department of Astronomy and Space Physics, Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, Box 515, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
    e-mail: [karin.jonsell;Bengt.Edvardsson;Bengt.Gustafsson]@astro.uu.se
2  Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août 17, 4000 Liège, Belgium
    e-mail: Pierre.Magain@ulg.ac.be
3  Institute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
    e-mail: pen@phys.au.dk
4  Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Cotter Road, Weston, ACT 2611, Australia
    e-mail: martin@mso.anu.edu.au

(Received 31 January 2005 / Accepted 26 April 2005)

We have derived abundances of O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Fe, Ni, and Ba for 43 metal-poor field stars in the solar neighbourhood, most of them subgiants or turn-off-point stars with iron abundances [Fe/H] ranging from -0.4 to -3.0. About half of this sample has not been spectroscopically analysed in detail before. Effective temperatures were estimated from uvby photometry, and surface gravities primarily from Hipparcos parallaxes. The analysis is differential relative to the Sun, and was carried out with plane-parallel MARCS models. Various sources of error are discussed and found to contribute a total error of about 0.1-0.2 dex for most elements, while relative abundances, such as [Ca/Fe], are most probably more accurate. For the oxygen abundances, determined in an NLTE analysis of the 7774 Å triplet lines, the errors may be somewhat larger. We made a detailed comparison with similar studies and traced the reasons for the, in most cases, relatively small differences.

Among the results we find that [O/Fe] possibly increases beyond [Fe/H] = -1.0, though considerably less so than in results obtained by others from abundances based on OH lines. We did not trace any tendency toward strong overionization of iron, and find the excesses, relative to Fe and the Sun, of the $\alpha$ elements Mg, Si, and Ca to be smaller than those of O. We discuss some indications that also the abundances of different $\alpha$ elements relative to Fe vary and the possibility that some of the scatter around the trends in abundances relative to iron may be real. This may support the idea that the formation of Halo stars occurred in smaller systems with different star formation rates. We verify the finding by Gratton et al. (2003b, A&A, 406, 131) that stars that do not participate in the rotation of the galactic disk show a lower mean and larger spread in [ $\alpha$/Fe] than stars participating in the general rotation. The latter stars also seem to show some correlation between [ $\alpha$/Fe] and rotation speed. We trace some stars with peculiar abundances, among these two Ba stars, HD 17072 and HD 196944 , the second already known to be rich in s elements. Finally we advocate that a spectroscopic study of a larger sample of halo stars with well-defined selection criteria is very important, in order to add to the very considerable efforts that various groups have already made.

Key words: stars: Population II -- stars: fundamental parameters -- stars: abundances -- Galaxy: halo -- Galaxy: abundances -- Galaxy: evolution

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