Metallicity determination of M dwarfs
High-resolution infrared spectroscopy⋆
1 Uppsala University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Division of Astronomy and Space Physics, Box 516, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
2 University of Chicago, The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 5640 S. Ellis Ave. Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Received: 26 May 2015
Accepted: 24 September 2015
Context. Several new techniques to determine the metallicity of M dwarfs with better precision have been developed over the last decades. However, most of these studies were based on empirical methods. In order to enable detailed abundance analysis, standard methods established for warmer solar-like stars, i.e. model-dependent methods using fitting of synthetic spectra, still need to be used.
Aims. In this work we continue the reliability confirmation and development of metallicity determinations of M dwarfs using high-resolution infrared spectra. The reliability was confirmed through analysis of M dwarfs in four binary systems with FGK dwarf companions and by comparison with previous optical studies of the FGK dwarfs.
Methods. The metallicity determination was based on spectra taken in the J band (1.1–1.4 μm) with the CRIRES spectrograph. In this part of the infrared, the density of stellar molecular lines is limited, reducing the amount of blends with atomic lines enabling an accurate continuum placement. Lines of several atomic species were used to determine the stellar metallicity.
Results. All binaries show excellent agreement between the derived metallicity of the M dwarf and its binary companion. Our results are also in good agreement with values found in the literature. Furthermore, we propose an alternative way to determine the effective temperature of M dwarfs of spectral types later than M2 through synthetic spectral fitting of the FeH lines in our observed spectra.
Conclusions. We have confirmed that a reliable metallicity determination of M dwarfs can be achieved using high-resolution infrared spectroscopy. We also note that metallicites obtained with photometric metallicity calibrations available for M dwarfs only partly agree with the results we obtain from high-resolution spectroscopy.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: low-mass / techniques: spectroscopic
© ESO, 2016