VII. Thorium abundances in metal-poor stars
1 The School of Space Science and Physics, Shandong University at Weihai, Wenhua Xilu 180, 264209 Weihai, Shandong, PR China
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2 Zentrum für Astronomy der Universität Heidelberg, Landessternwarte, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
4 Key Laboratory of Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, CAS, 20A Datun Road, 100012 Chaoyang District, Beijing, PR China
Received: 11 October 2011
Accepted: 22 November 2011
We report thorium abundances for 77 metal-poor stars in the metallicity range of −3.5 < [Fe/H] < −1.0, based on “snapshot” spectra obtained with VLT-UT2/UVES during the HERES Survey. We were able to determine the thorium abundances with better than 1σ confidence for 17 stars, while for 60 stars we derived upper limits. For five stars common with previous studies, our results were in good agreement with the literature results. The thorium abundances span a wide range of about 4.0 dex, and scatter exists in the distribution of log (Th/Eu) ratios for lower metallicity stars, supporting previous studies suggesting the r-process is not universal. We derived ages from the log (Th/Eu) ratios for 12 stars, resulting in large scattered ages, and two stars with significant enhancement of Th relative to Eu are found, indicating the “actinide boost” does not seem to be a rare phenomenon and thus highlighting the risk in using log (Th/Eu) to derive stellar ages.
Key words: stars: evolution / stars: abundances / galaxies: evolution / Galaxy: halo / stars: Population II / Galaxy: abundances
Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile (Proposal Number 68.B-0320).
Tables 5 and 6 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2012