Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 400, 21-30 (2003/3-2)
The present-day chemical composition of the SMC from UVES spectra of the sharp-lined, B-type dwarf AV 304.
ROLLESTON W.R.J., VENN K., TOLSTOY E. and DUFTON P.L.
Abstract (from CDS):
High-resolution spectroscopic VLT/UVES observations are presented for the B-type main-sequence star, AV 304, in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). These spectra have been analysed using LTE model-atmosphere techniques, to derive stellar atmospheric parameters and chemical compositions. As AV 304 is located within the hydrogen burning main-sequence band, its chemical composition should reflect that of the SMC interstellar medium (ISM). A detailed line-by-line differential analysis has been undertaken relative to a Galactic comparison star. A general metal deficiency for the α-process elements O, Si & S of -0.43±0.05dex is found for AV 304, with iron having a similar underabundance. Oxygen may be relatively overabundant by ∼0.1dex and carbon and aluminium underabundant by ∼0.2dex. A large nitrogen underabundance (of -1.2dex relative to hydrogen and -0.7dex relative to iron) is found. This is interpreted in terms of the CNO bi-cycle having been suppressed in the SMC. Furthermore, the large nitrogen deficiency is in excellent agreement with that found for SMC H ii regions. Indeed, this represents a first for stellar astrophysics - confirming the low base-line nitrogen composition of the SMC ISM (viz. 12+log(N/H)∼6.66±0.10dex).