Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy (ITPA), Goštauto 12, Vilnius 2600, Lithuania
2 Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, Box 515, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
3 Astronomy Division, Department of Physical Sciences, PO Box 3000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland
Corresponding author: G. Tautvaišienė, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 15 October 2001
High-resolution spectra of 13 core helium-burning stars in the thick disk of the Galaxy have been obtained with the SOFIN spectrograph on the Nordic Optical Telescope to investigate abundances of up to 22 chemical elements. Abundances of carbon were studied using the C2 Swan (0, 1) band head at 5635.5 Å. The wavelength interval 7980-8130 Å with strong CN features was analysed in order to determine nitrogen abundances and isotope ratios. The oxygen abundances were determined from the [O i] line at 6300 Å. Abundances in the investigated stars suggest that carbon is depleted by about 0.3 dex, nitrogen is enhanced by more than 0.4 dex and oxygen is unaltered. The ratios are lowered and lie between values 3 and 7 which is in agreement with "cool bottom processing" predictions (Boothroyd & Sackmann 1999). The C/N ratios in the investigated stars are lowered to values between 0.7 and 1.2 which is less than present day theoretical predictions and call for further studies of stellar mixing processes. Abundance ratios of O, Mg, Eu and other heavy chemical elements to iron in the investigated stars show a pattern characteristic of thick disk stars. The results provide evidence that the thick disk population has a distinct chemical history from the thin disk. The onset of the bulk of SN Ia is suggested to appear at [Fe/H] dex.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: atmospheres / stars: horizontal-branch / galaxy: formation
© ESO, 2001