Volume 477, Number 1, January I 2008
|Page(s)||243 - 247|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||06 November 2007|
Scandium: a key element for understanding Am stars
Département de Physique et d'Astronomie, Université de Moncton, Moncton, NB, E1A 3E9, Canada e-mail: email@example.com
2 LUTH (Observatoire de Paris – CNRS), Observatoire de Meudon, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
Accepted: 19 October 2007
Context.Atomic diffusion is believed to cause the abundance anomalies observed in AmFm stars. However, the detailed process has still not been well-established. For instance, two possible scenarios for the diffusion theory are presently envisaged. They differ mainly by the depth from which the abundance anomalies emanate. The first scenario predicts that the abundances are modified in the superficial regions of the star, just below the hydrogen convection zone. The second scenario predicts that a much deeper extension of the mixing zone exists due to the convection caused by Fe accumulation in regions below the hydrogen convection zone.
Aims.We calculate much more accurate radiative accelerations of Sc than previously, to better understand the observed abundance anomalies of this element. We believe that it is a key element to use as a diagnostic tool for understanding AmFm stars.
Methods.The method employed to obtain these radiative accelerations is based on an interpolation from the parameters of the so-called SVP parametric method.
Results.The radiative accelerations, shown here in a typical Am stellar model, are discussed in light of the observed anomalies of Ca and Sc. Our results suggest that the deeper mixing scenario is not entirely satisfactory: the mixing zone should be deeper than what is predicted by recent models to account for observed Sc underabundances. Our results seem more compatible with the scenario where the abundances anomalies are created in the superficial regions. However, only detailed evolutionary modelling with mass loss and diffusion of all important species, including Ca and Sc, with accurate radiative accelerations, will be able to give more insight into where the source of these anomalies occur in AmFm stars.
Key words: diffusion / stars: abundances / stars: chemically peculiar
© ESO, 2007
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