Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 469, 319-330 (2007/7-1)
Sulphur and zinc abundances in Galactic halo stars revisited.
NISSEN P.E., AKERMAN C., ASPLUND M., FABBIAN D., KERBER F., KAEUFL H.U. and PETTINI M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Based on a new set of sulphur abundances in very metal-poor stars and an improved analysis of previous data, we aim at resolving current discrepancies on the trend of S/Fe vs. Fe/H and thereby gain better insight into the nucleosynthesis of sulphur. The trends of Zn/Fe and S/Zn will also be studied. High resolution VLT/UVES spectra of 40 main-sequence stars with -3.3<[Fe/H]←1.0 are used to derive S abundances from the weak λ8694.6 SI line and the stronger λλ9212.9,9237.5 pair of SI lines. For one star, the S abundance is also derived from the SI triplet at 1.046µm recently observed with the VLT infrared echelle spectrograph CRIRES. Fe and Zn abundances are derived from lines in the blue part of the UVES spectra, and effective temperatures are obtained from the profile of the Hβ line. Comparison of sulphur abundances from the weak and strong SI lines provides important constraints on non-LTE effects. The high sulphur abundances reported by others for some metal-poor stars are not confirmed; instead, when taking non-LTE corrections into account, the Galactic halo stars distribute around a plateau at [S/Fe]~+0.2dex with a scatter of 0.07dex only. [Zn/Fe] is close to zero for metallicities in the range -2.0<[Fe/H]←1.0 but increases to a level of [Zn/Fe]~+0.1 to +0.2dex in the range -2.7<[Fe/H]←2.0. At still lower metallicities [Zn/Fe] rises steeply to a value of [Zn/Fe]~+0.5dex at [Fe/H]=-3.2. The trend of S/Fe vs. Fe/H corresponds to the trends of Mg/Fe, Si/Fe, and Ca/Fe and indicates that sulphur in Galactic halo stars has been made by α-capture processes in massive SNe. The observed scatter in S/Fe is much smaller than predicted from current stochastic models of the chemical evolution of the early Galaxy, suggesting that either the models or the calculated yields of massive SNe should be revised. We also examine the behaviour of S/Zn and find that departures from the solar ratio are significantly reduced at all metallicities if non-LTE corrections to the abundances of these two elements are adopted. This effect, if confirmed, would reduce the usefulness of the S/Zn ratio as a diagnostic of past star-formation activity, but would bring closer together the values measured in damped Lyman-alpha systems and in Galactic stars.
stars: abundances - stars: atmospheres - Galaxy: halo - galaxies: abundances - galaxies: high-redshift
Table C.1: SDSS1116+4118A could be SDSS J111610.68+411814.4 or SDSS J111611.73+411821.5 QSOs.
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