Cu and Zn in the early Galaxy
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, c/ Vía Láctea, s/n, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain e-mail: [gbihain;gil;rrl]@ll.iac.es
2 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain
3 Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via G. B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy e-mail: [molaro;bonifacio]@ts.astro.it
Accepted: 27 April 2004
We present Cu and Zn abundances for 38 FGK stars, mostly dwarfs, spanning a metallicity range between solar and [Fe/H] = -3. The abundances were obtained using Kurucz's local thermal equilibrium (LTE) model atmospheres and the near-UV lines of 3273.95 Å and 3302.58 Å observed at high spectral resolution. The trend of [Cu/Fe] versus [Fe/H] is almost solar for [Fe/H] > -1 and then decreases to a plateau [Cu/Fe] = -0.98 at [Fe/H] < -2.5, whereas the [Zn/Fe] trend is essentially solar for [Fe/H] > -2 and then slightly increases at lower metallicities to an average value of [Zn/Fe] = +0.18. We compare our results with previous work on these elements, and briefly discuss them in terms of nucleosynthesis processes. Predictions of halo chemical evolution fairly reproduce the trends, especially the [Cu/Fe] plateau at very low metallicities, but to a lesser extent the higher [Zn/Fe] ratios at low metallicities, indicating possibly missing yields.
Key words: stars: Population II / stars: abundances / Galaxy: evolution
© ESO, 2004