NLTE strontium abundance in a sample of extremely metal poor stars and the Sr/Ba ratio in the early Galaxy
GEPI, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, 92125 Meudon Cedex, France
2 Department of Astronomy and Astronomical Observatory, Odessa National University, and Isaac Newton Institute of Chile Odessa branch, Shevchenko Park, 65014 Odessa, Ukraine
3 Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica – Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via Tiepolo 11, 34143 Trieste, Italy
Received: 26 January 2011
Accepted: 26 February 2011
Context. Heavy element abundances in extremely metal-poor stars provide strong constraints on the processes of forming these elements in the first stars.
Aims. We attempt to determine precise abundances of strontium in a homogeneous sample of extremely metal-poor stars.
Methods. The abundance of strontium in 54 very or extremely metal-poor stars, was redetermined by abandoning the local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) hypothesis, and fitting non-LTE (NLTE) profiles to the observed spectral lines. The corrected Sr abundances and previously obtained NLTE Ba abundances are compared to the predictions of several hypothetical formation processes for the lighter neutron-capture elements.
Results. Our NLTE abundances confirm the previously determined huge scatter of the strontium abundance in low metallicity stars. This scatter is also found (and is even larger) at very low metallicities (i.e. early in the chemical evolution). The Sr abundance in the extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars is compatible with the main r-process involved in other processes (or by variations of the r-process), as we briefly discuss.
Key words: Galaxy: abundances / Galaxy: halo / Galaxy: evolution / stars: abundances / supernovae: general
© ESO, 2011