EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 481, Number 3, April III 2008
Page(s) 807 - 809
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200809430
Published online 18 February 2008

A&A 481, 807-809 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200809430

Research Note

Uncertainties in (E)UV model atmosphere fluxes

T. Rauch

Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Kepler Center for Astro and Particle Physics, Eberhard Karls University, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
    e-mail: rauch@astro.uni-tuebingen.de

(Received 21 January 2008 / Accepted 4 February 2008)

Context. During the comparison of synthetic spectra calculated with two NLTE model atmosphere codes, namely TMAP and TLUSTY, we encounter systematic differences in the EUV fluxes due to the treatment of level dissolution by pressure ionization.
Aims. In the case of Sirius B , we demonstrate an uncertainty in modeling the EUV flux reliably in order to challenge theoreticians to improve the theory of level dissolution.
Methods. We calculated synthetic spectra for hot, compact stars using state-of-the-art NLTE model-atmosphere techniques.
Results. Systematic differences may occur due to a code-specific cutoff frequency of the $\ion{H}{i}$ Lyman bound-free opacity. This is the case for TMAP and TLUSTY. Both codes predict the same flux level at wavelengths lower than about 1500 Å for stars with effective temperatures ( $T_{\rm eff}$) below about 30 000 K only, if the same cutoff frequency is chosen.
Conclusions. The theory of level dissolution in high-density plasmas, which is available for hydrogen only should be generalized to all species. Especially, the cutoff frequencies for the bound-free opacities should be defined in order to make predictions of UV fluxes more reliable.

Key words: atomic data -- stars: atmospheres -- stars: individual: HZ 43 -- stars: individual: Sirius B -- stars: white dwarfs -- ultraviolet: stars -- X-rays: stars

© ESO 2008