An upper limit on the sulphur abundance in HE 1327-2326 ⋆
1 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot, Place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
2 Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Landessternwarte, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3 Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria, Elliott Building, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
4 The W. J. McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-0259, USA
Received: 4 May 2012
Accepted: 28 June 2012
Context. Star HE 1327-2326 is a unique object, with the lowest measured iron abundance ([Fe/H] ~ −6) and a peculiar chemical composition that includes large overabundances of C, N, and O with respect to iron. One important question is whether the chemical abundances in this star reflect the chemical composition of the gas cloud from which it was formed or if they have been severely affected by other processes, such as dust-gas winnowing.
Aims. We measure or provide an upper limit to the abundance of the volatile element sulphur, which can help to discriminate between the two scenarios.
Methods. We observed HE 1327-2326 with the high resolution infra-red spectrograph CRIRES at the VLT to observe the S i lines of Multiplet 3 at 1045 nm.
Results. We do not detect the S i line. A 3σ upper limit on the equivalent width (EW) of any line in our spectrum is EW < 0.66 pm. Using either one-dimensional static or three-dimensional hydrodynamical model-atmospheres, this translates into a robust upper limit of [S/H] < −2.6.
Conclusions. This upper limit does not provide conclusive evidence for or against dust-gas winnowing, and the evidence coming from other elements (e.g., Na and Ti) is also inconclusive or contradictory. The formation of dust in the atmosphere versus an origin of the metals in a metal-poor supernova with extensive “fall-back” are not mutually exclusive. It is possible that dust formation distorts the peculiar abundance pattern created by a supernova with fall-back, thus the abundance ratios in HE 1327-2326 may be used to constrain the properties of the supernova(e) that produced its metals, but with some caution.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: individual: HE 1327-2326 / stars: Population II / Galaxy: evolution / Galaxy: abundances / line: formation
© ESO, 2012