Identifying the best iron-peak and α-capture elements for chemical tagging: The impact of the number of lines on measured scatter⋆
1 Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Universidade do Porto, CAUP, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
2 Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
3 Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, 0213 Byurakan, Aragatsotn province, Armenia
4 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
5 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Received: 4 August 2015
Accepted: 8 September 2015
Aims. The main goal of this work is to explore which elements carry the most information about the birth origin of stars and, as such, which are best suited for chemical tagging.
Methods. We explored different techniques to minimize the effect of outlier value lines in the abundances by using Ni abundances derived for 1111 FGK-type stars. We evaluate how the limited number of spectral lines can affect the final chemical abundance. Then we make an efficient even footing comparison of the [X/Fe] scatter between the elements that have a different number of observable spectral lines in the studied spectra.
Results. When several spectral lines are available, we find that the most efficient way of calculating the average abundance of elements is to use a weighted mean (WM), whereby we consider the distance from the median abundance as a weight. This method can be used effectively without removing suspected outlier lines. When the same number of lines are used to determine chemical abundances, we show that the [X/Fe] star-to-star scatter for iron group and α-capture elements is almost the same. The largest scatter among the studied elements, was observed for Al and the smallest for Cr and Ni.
Conclusions. We recommend caution when comparing [X/Fe] scatters among elements where a different number of spectral lines are available. A meaningful comparison is necessary to identify elements that show the largest intrinsic scatter, which can then be used for chemical tagging.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: general / stars: fundamental parameters
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© ESO, 2015