Three-dimensional hydrodynamical CO5BOLD model atmospheres of red giant stars
Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius
2 Vilnius University Astronomical Observatory, M. K. Čiurlionio 29, 03100 Vilnius, Lithuania
3 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, Place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
4 Landessternwarte – Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
5 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 30 August 2014
Accepted: 26 January 2015
Context. Although oxygen is an important tracer of Galactic chemical evolution, measurements of its abundance in the atmospheres of the oldest Galactic stars are still scarce and rather imprecise. This is mainly because only a few spectral lines are available for the abundance diagnostics. At the lowest end of the metallicity scale, oxygen can only be measured in giant stars and in most of cases such measurements rely on a single forbidden [O i] 630 nm line that is very weak and frequently blended with telluric lines. Although molecular OH lines located in the ultraviolet and infrared could also be used for the diagnostics, oxygen abundances obtained from the OH lines and the [O i] 630 nm line are usually discrepant to a level of ~ 0.3−0.4 dex.
Aims. We study the influence of convection on the formation of the infrared (IR) OH lines and the forbidden [O i] 630 nm line in the atmospheres of extremely metal-poor (EMP) red giant stars. Our ultimate goal is to clarify whether a realistic treatment of convection with state-of-the-art 3D hydrodynamical model atmospheres may help to bring the oxygen abundances obtained using the two indicators into closer agreement.
Methods. We used high-resolution (R = 50 000) and high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ≈ 200−600) spectra of four EMP red giant stars obtained with the VLT CRIRES spectrograph. For each EMP star, 4–14 IR OH vibrational-rotational lines located in the spectral range of 1514−1548 and 1595−1632 nm were used to determine oxygen abundances by employing standard 1D local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) abundance analysis methodology. We then corrected the 1D LTE abundances obtained from each individual OH line for the 3D hydrodynamical effects, which was done by applying 3D–1D LTE abundance corrections that were determined using 3D hydrodynamical CO5BOLD and 1D hydrostatic LHD model atmospheres.
Results. We find that the influence of convection on the formation of [O i] 630 nm line in the atmospheres of EMP giants studied here is minor, which leads to very small 3D–1D abundance corrections (Δ3D−1D ≤ −0.01 dex). On the contrary, IR OH lines are strongly affected by convection and thus the abundance corrections for these lines are significant, Δ3D−1D ≈ −0.2···−0.3 dex. These abundance corrections do indeed bring the 1D LTE oxygen abundances of EMP red giants obtained using IR OH lines into better agreement with those determined from the [O i] 630 nm line. Since in the EMP red giants IR OH lines are typically at least a factor of two stronger than the [O i] line, OH lines may be useful indicators of oxygen abundances in the EMP stars, provided that the analysis is based on 3D hydrodynamical model atmospheres.
Key words: stars: Population II / stars: late-type / stars: atmospheres / stars: abundances / techniques: spectroscopic / convection
Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal Observatory, Chile (observing programme 089.D-0079).
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015