Letter to the Editor
The coronal Ne/O abundance of α Centauri
Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 20 August 2006
Recent improvements in the modeling of solar convection and line formation led to downward revisions of the solar photospheric abundances of the lighter elements, which in turn led to changes in the radiative opacity of the solar interior and hence to conflicts with the solar convection zone depth as inferred from helioseismic oscillation frequencies. An increase of the solar Ne/O abundance to values as observed for nearby stars has been proposed as a solution. Because of the absence of strong neon lines in the optical, neon abundances are difficult to measure and the correct solar and stellar Ne/O abundances are currently hotly debated. Based on X-ray spectra obtained with XMM-Newton, we determine a reference value of Ne/O for the inactive, solar-like star α Cen (primarily α Cen B, which is the dominant component in X-rays), with three independent, line-based methods, using differential emission measure reconstruction and an emission measure-independent method. Our results indicate a value of 0.28 for ANe/AO in α Cen, approximately twice the value measured for the Sun, but still below the average value obtained for other stars. The low Ne/O abundance of the Sun is peculiar when compared to α Cen and other stars; our results emphasize the necessity to obtain more and accurate Ne/O abundance measurements of low activity stars.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: activity / stars: coronae / X-rays: stars
© ESO, 2006