EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 379, Number 3, December I 2001
Page(s) 917 - 923
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011380
A&A 379, 917-923 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011380

Statistics and supermetallicity: The metallicity of Mu Leonis

B. J. Taylor

Department of Physics and Astronomy, N283 ESC, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-4360, USA

(Received 9 February 2001 / Accepted 2 October 2001)

Abstract
For the often-studied "SMR" giant $\mu$ Leo, Smith & Ruck (2000) have recently found that [Fe/H] $\sim +0.3$ dex. Their conclusion is tested here in a "statistical" paradigm, in which statistical principles are used to select published high-dispersion $\mu$ Leo data and assign error bars to them. When data from Smith & Ruck and from Takeda et al. (1998) are added to a data base compiled in 1999, it is found that conclusions from an earlier analysis (Taylor 1999c) are essentially unchanged: the mean value of [Fe/H] $\sim +0.23 \pm 0.025$ dex, and values $\leq$ +0.2 dex are not clearly ruled out at 95% confidence. In addition, the hypothesis that [Fe/H] $\geq
+0.3$ dex which emerges from the Smith-Ruck analysis is formally rejected at 98% confidence. The "default paradigm" which is commonly used to assess $\mu$ Leo data is also considered. The basic characteristics of that paradigm continue to be a) unexplained exclusion of statistical analysis, b) inadequately explained deletions from an [Fe/H] data base containing accordant data, and c) an undefended convention that $\mu$ Leo is to have a metallicity of about +0.3 dex or higher. As a result, it seems fair to describe the Smith-Ruck application and other applications of the default paradigm as invalid methods of inference from the data.


Key words: stars: abundances -- stars: individual: $\mu$ Leo

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© ESO 2001