Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 549A, 110-110 (2013/1-1)
Hot subdwarf stars in close-up view. III. Metal abundances of subdwarf B stars.
Abstract (from CDS):
Hot subdwarf B stars (sdBs) are considered to be core helium-burning stars with very thin hydrogen envelopes situated on or near the extreme horizontal branch. The formation of sdBs is still unclear as well as the chemical composition of their atmospheres. The observed helium depletion is attributed to atmospheric diffusion. Metal abundances have been determined for about a dozen sdBs only resulting in puzzling patterns with enrichment of heavy metals and depletion of lighter ones. We present a detailed metal abundance analysis of 106 sdBs. From high resolution spectra we measured elemental abundances of up to 24 different ions per star. A semi-automatic analysis pipeline was developed to calculate and fit LTE models to a standard set of spectral lines. A general trend of enrichment was found with increasing temperature for most of the heavier elements. The lighter elements like carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen are depleted and less affected by temperature. Although there is considerable scatter from star to star, the general abundance patterns in most sdBs are similar. State-of-the-art diffusion models predict such patterns and are in qualitative agreement with our results. However, the highest enrichments measured cannot be explained with these models. Peculiar line shapes of the strongest metal lines in some stars indicate vertical stratification to be present in the atmospheres. Such effects are not accounted for in current diffusion models and may be responsible for some of the yet unexplained abundance anomalies.