Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 353, 287-310 (2000/1-1)
The R Coronae Borealis stars - atmospheres and abundances.
ASPLUND M., GUSTAFSSON B., LAMBERT D.L. and RAO N.K.
Abstract (from CDS):
An abundance analysis of the H-deficient and He- and C-rich R Coronae Borealis (RCrB) stars has been undertaken to examine the ancestry of the stars. The investigation is based on high-resolution spectra and line-blanketed H-deficient model atmospheres. The models successfully reproduce the flux distributions and all spectral features, both molecular bands and high-excitation transitions, with one important exception, the Ci lines. Since photoionization of Ci dominates the continuous opacity, the line strengths of Ci are essentially independent of the adopted carbon abundance and stellar parameters. All predicted Ci lines are, however, much too strong compared with observations, with a discrepancy in abundance corresponding to 0.6dex with little star-to-star scatter. Various solutions of this ``carbon problem'' have been investigated. A possible solution is that classical model atmospheres are far from adequate descriptions of supergiants such as the RCrB stars. We can also not exclude completely, however, the possibility that the gf-values for the Ci lines are in error. This is supported by the fact that the Cii, [Ci] and C2
lines are reproduced by the models with no apparent complications. In spite of the carbon problem, various tests suggest that abundance ratios are little affected by the uncertainties. Judging by chemical composition, the RCrB stars can be divided into a homogeneous majority group and a diverse minority, which is characterized by extreme abundance ratios, in particular as regards Si/Fe and S/Fe. All stars show evidence of H- and He-burning in different episodes as well as mild s-process enhancements. Four of the majority members are Li-rich, while overabundances of Na, Al, Si and S are attributes of all stars. An anti-correlation found between the H and Fe abundances of H-deficient stars remains unexplained. These enigmatic stars are believed to be born-again giants, formed either through a final He-shell flash in a post-AGB star or through a merger of two white dwarfs. Owing to a lack of theoretical predictions of the resulting chemical compositions, identification of the majority and minority groups with the two scenarios is unfortunately only preliminary. Furthermore, Sakurai's object
and V854 Cen
exhibit aspects of both majority and minority groups, which may suggest that the division into two groups is too simplistic.
stars: abundances - stars: evolution - stars: AGB and post-AGB - stars: variables: general - stars: individual: R CrB - stars: individual: Sakurai's object
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<Available at CDS (J/A+A/353/287): stars.dat table2.dat>
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