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2010ApJ...713..458T - Astrophys. J., 713, 458-468 (2010/April-2)

A non-local thermodynamic equilibrium analysis of boron abundances in metal-poor stars.

TAN K., SHI J. and ZHAO G.

Abstract (from CDS):

The non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) line formation of neutral boron in the atmospheres of cool stars are investigated. Our results confirm that NLTE effects for the B I resonance lines, which are due to a combination of overionization and optical pumping effects, are most important for hot, metal-poor, and low-gravity stars; however, the amplitude of departures from local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) found by this work is smaller than that of previous studies. In addition, our calculation shows that the line formation of B I will get closer to LTE if the strength of collisions with neutral hydrogen increases, which is contrary to the result of previous studies. The NLTE line formation results are applied to the determination of boron abundances for a sample of 16 metal-poor stars with the method of spectrum synthesis of the B I 2497 Å resonance lines using the archived HST/GHRS spectra. Beryllium and oxygen abundances are also determined for these stars with the published equivalent widths of the Be II 3131 Å resonance and O I 7774 Å triplet lines, respectively. The abundances of the nine stars which are not depleted in Be or B show that, no matter what the strength of collisions with neutral hydrogen may be, both Be and B increase with O quasilinearly in the logarithmic plane, which confirms the conclusions that Be and B are mainly produced by the primary process in the early Galaxy. The most noteworthy result of this work is that B increases with Fe or O at a very similar speed as, or a bit faster than, Be does, which is in accord with the theoretical models. The B/Be ratios remain almost constant over the metallicity range investigated here. Our average B/Be ratio falls in the interval [13±4, 17±4], which is consistent with the predictions of the spallation process. The contribution of B from the ν-process may be required if the 11B/10B isotopic ratios in metal-poor stars are the same as the meteoric value. An accurate measurement of the 11B/10B ratios in metal-poor stars is crucial to understanding the production history of boron.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Galaxy: evolution - line: formation - line: profiles - stars: abundances - stars: atmospheres - stars: Population II

Simbad objects: 18

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