P. Francois

Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, Picardie, France

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Publications (202)481.08 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: It has been noted that, in classical extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars, the abundance ratio of Sr and Ba, is always higher than [Sr/Ba] = -0.5, the value of the solar r-only process; however, a handful of EMP stars have recently been found with a very low Sr/Ba ratio. We try to understand the origin of this anomaly by comparing the abundance pattern of the elements in these stars and in the classical EMP stars. Four stars with very low Sr/Ba ratios were observed and analyzed within LTE approximation through 1D (hydrostatic) model atmosphere, providing homogeneous abundances of nine neutron-capture elements. In CS 22950-173, the only turnoff star of the sample, the Sr/Ba ratio is, in fact, found to be higher than the r-only solar ratio, so the star is discarded. The remaining stars (CS 29493-090, CS 30322-023, HE 305-4520) are cool evolved giants. They do not present a clear carbon enrichment. The abundance patterns of the neutron-capture elements in the three stars are strikingly similar to a theoretical s-process pattern. This pattern could at first be attributed to pollution by a nearby AGB, but none of the stars presents a clear variation in the radial velocity indicating the presence of a companion. The stellar parameters seem to exclude any internal pollution in a TP-AGB phase for at least two of these stars. The possibility that the stars are early-AGB stars polluted during the core He flash does not seem compatible with the theory.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 10/2014; 571. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Gaia-ESO Survey is obtaining high-quality spectroscopic data for about 10^5 stars using FLAMES at the VLT. UVES high-resolution spectra are being collected for about 5000 FGK-type stars. These UVES spectra are analyzed in parallel by several state-of-the-art methodologies. Our aim is to present how these analyses were implemented, to discuss their results, and to describe how a final recommended parameter scale is defined. We also discuss the precision (method-to-method dispersion) and accuracy (biases with respect to the reference values) of the final parameters. These results are part of the Gaia-ESO 2nd internal release and will be part of its 1st public release of advanced data products. The final parameter scale is tied to the one defined by the Gaia benchmark stars, a set of stars with fundamental atmospheric parameters. A set of open and globular clusters is used to evaluate the physical soundness of the results. Each methodology is judged against the benchmark stars to define weights in three different regions of the parameter space. The final recommended results are the weighted-medians of those from the individual methods. The recommended results successfully reproduce the benchmark stars atmospheric parameters and the expected Teff-log g relation of the calibrating clusters. Atmospheric parameters and abundances have been determined for 1301 FGK-type stars observed with UVES. The median of the method-to-method dispersion of the atmospheric parameters is 55 K for Teff, 0.13 dex for log g, and 0.07 dex for [Fe/H]. Systematic biases are estimated to be between 50-100 K for Teff, 0.10-0.25 dex for log g, and 0.05-0.10 dex for [Fe/H]. Abundances for 24 elements were derived: C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Y, Zr, Mo, Ba, Nd, and Eu. The typical method-to-method dispersion of the abundances varies between 0.10 and 0.20 dex.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 10/2014; 570:A122. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fornax is one of the most massive dwarf spheroidal galaxies in the Local Group. The Fornax field star population is dominated by intermediate age stars but star formation was going on over almost its entire history. It has been proposed that Fornax experienced a minor merger event. Despite recent progress, only the high metallicity end of Fornax field stars ([Fe/H]>-1.2 dex) has been sampled in larger number via high resolution spectroscopy. We want to better understand the full chemical evolution of this galaxy by better sampling the whole metallicity range, including more metal poor stars. We use the VLT-FLAMES multi-fibre spectrograph in high-resolution mode to determine the abundances of several alpha, iron-peak and neutron-capture elements in a sample of 47 individual Red Giant Branch stars in the Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy. We combine these abundances with accurate age estimates derived from the age probability distribution from the colour-magnitude diagram of Fornax. Similar to other dwarf spheroidal galaxies, the old, metal-poor stars of Fornax are typically alpha-rich while the young metal-rich stars are alpha-poor. In the classical scenario of the time delay between SNe II and SNe Ia, we confirm that SNe Ia started to contribute to the chemical enrichment at [Fe/H] between -2.0 and -1.8 dex. We find that the onset of SNe Ia took place between 12-10 Gyrs ago. The high values of [Ba/Fe], [La/Fe] reflect the influence of SNe Ia and AGB stars in the abundance pattern of the younger stellar population of Fornax. Our findings of low [alpha/Fe] and enhanced [Eu/Mg] are compatible with an initial mass function that lacks the most massive stars and with star formation that kept going on throughout the whole history of Fornax. We find that massive stars kept enriching the interstellar medium in alpha-elements, although they were not the main contributor to the iron enrichment.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 09/2014; 572. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Gaia-ESO Survey is a large public spectroscopic survey that aims to derive radial velocities and fundamental parameters of about 10^5 Milky Way stars in the field and in clusters. Observations are carried out with the multi-object optical spectrograph FLAMES, using simultaneously the medium resolution (R~20,000) GIRAFFE spectrograph and the high resolution (R~47,000) UVES spectrograph. In this paper, we describe the methods and the software used for the data reduction, the derivation of the radial velocities, and the quality control of the FLAMES-UVES spectra. Data reduction has been performed using a workflow specifically developed for this project. This workflow runs the ESO public pipeline optimizing the data reduction for the Gaia-ESO Survey, performs automatically sky subtraction, barycentric correction and normalisation, and calculates radial velocities and a first guess of the rotational velocities. The quality control is performed using the output parameters from the ESO pipeline, by a visual inspection of the spectra and by the analysis of the signal-to-noise ratio of the spectra. Using the observations of the first 18 months, specifically targets observed multiple times at different epochs, stars observed with both GIRAFFE and UVES, and observations of radial velocity standards, we estimated the precision and the accuracy of the radial velocities. The statistical error on the radial velocities is sigma~0.4 km s^-1 and is mainly due to uncertainties in the zero point of the wavelength calibration. However, we found a systematic bias with respect to the GIRAFFE spectra (~0.9 km s^-1) and to the radial velocities of the standard stars (~0.5 kms^-1) retrieved from the literature. This bias will be corrected in the future data releases, when a common zero point for all the setups and instruments used for the survey will be established.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2014; 565:A113. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lithium is a key element for studying the mixing mechanisms operating in stellar interiors. It can also be used to probe the chemical evolution of the Galaxy and the Big Bang nucleosynthesis. Measuring the abundance of Lithium in stars belonging to Open Clusters (hereafter OC) allows a detailed comparison with stellar evolutionary models. NGC 2243 is particularly interesting thanks to its relative low metallicity ([Fe/H]=-0.54 ± 0.10 dex). We performed a detailed analysis of high-resolution spectra obtained with the multi-object facility FLAMES at the VLT 8.2m telescope. Lithium abundance has been measured in 27 stars. We found a Li dip center of 1.06 M☉, which is significantly smaller than that observed in solar metallicity and metal-rich clusters. This finding confirms and strengthens the conclusion that the mass of the stars in the Li dip strongly depends on stellar metallicity. The mean Li abundance of the cluster is log n(Li) = 2.70 dex, which is substantially higher than that observed in 47 Tue. We derived an iron abundance of [Fe/H]=-0.54±0.10 dex for NGC 2243, in agreement (within the errors) with previous findings.
    04/2014; 1594(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Moderately r-process-enriched stars (r-I) are at least four times as common as those that are greatly enriched in r-process elements (r-II), and the abundances in their atmospheres are important tools for obtaining a better understanding of the nucleosynthesis processes responsible for the origin of the elements beyond the iron peak. The main aim of this work is to derive abundances for a sample of seven metal-poor stars with classified as r-I stars, to understand the role of these stars for constraining the astrophysical nucleosynthesis event(s) that is(are) responsible for the production of the r-process, and to investigate whether they differ, in any significant way, from the r-II stars. We carried out a detailed abundance analysis based on high-resolution spectra obtained with the VLT/UVES spectrograph. The OSMARCS LTE 1D model atmosphere grid was employed, along with the spectrum synthesis code Turbospectrum. We have derived abundances of light elements Li, C, and N, alpha-elements, odd-Z elements, iron-peak elements, and the trans-iron elements from the first peak, the second peak, the third peak, and the actinides regions. The results are compared with values for these elements for r-II and normal very and extremely metal-poor stars reported in the literature, ages based on radioactive chronometry are explored using different models, and a number of conclusions about the r-process and the r-I stars are presented. Hydrodynamical models were used for some elements, and general behaviors for the 3D corrections were presented.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2014; 565. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present homogeneous and accurate iron abundances for 42 Galactic Cepheids based on high-spectral resolution (R~38,000) high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR>100) optical spectra collected with UVES at VLT (128 spectra). The above abundances were complemented with high-quality iron abundances provided either by our group (86) or available in the literature. We paid attention in deriving a common metallicity scale and ended up with a sample of 450 Cepheids. We also estimated for the entire sample accurate individual distances by using homogeneous near-infrared photometry and the reddening free Period-Wesenheit relations. The new metallicity gradient is linear over a broad range of Galactocentric distances (Rg~5-19 kpc) and agrees quite well with similar estimates available in the literature (-0.060+/-0.002 dex/kpc). We also uncover evidence which suggests that the residuals of the metallicity gradient are tightly correlated with candidate Cepheid Groups (CGs). The candidate CGs have been identified as spatial overdensities of Cepheids located across the thin disk. They account for a significant fraction of the residual fluctuations, and in turn for the large intrinsic dispersion of the metallicity gradient. We performed a detailed comparison with metallicity gradients based on different tracers: OB stars and open clusters. We found very similar metallicity gradients for ages younger than 3 Gyrs, while for older ages we found a shallower slope and an increase in the intrinsic spread. The above findings rely on homogeneous age, metallicity and distance scales. Finally we found, by using a large sample of Galactic and Magellanic Cepheids for which are available accurate iron abundances, that the dependence of the luminosity amplitude on metallicity is vanishing.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2014; 566. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Open clusters are key tools to study the spatial distribution of abundances in the disk and their evolution with time. Using the first release of stellar parameters and abundances of the Gaia-ESO Survey, we analyse the chemical properties of stars in three old/intermediate-age open clusters, namely NGC 6705, NGC 4815, and Trumpler 20, all located in the inner part of the Galactic disk at Galactocentric radius R$_{GC}\sim$7 kpc, aiming at proving their homogeneity and at comparing them with the field population. We study the abundance ratios of elements belonging to two different nucleosynthetic channels: $\alpha$-elements and iron-peak elements. The main results can be summarised as follows: i) cluster members are chemically homogeneous within 3-$\sigma$ in all analysed elements; ii) the three clusters have comparable [El/Fe] patters within $\sim$1-$\sigma$, but they differ in their global metal content [El/H], with NGC 4815 having the lowest metallicity. Their [El/Fe] ratios show differences and analogies with those of the field population, both in the solar neighbourhood and in the bulge/inner disk; iii) comparing the abundance ratios with the results of two chemical evolution models and with field star abundance distributions, we find that the abundance ratios of Mg, Ni, Ca in NGC 6705 might require an inner birthplace, implying a subsequent variation of its R$_{GC}$ during its lifetime, consistent with previous orbit determination. The full dataset of the Gaia-ESO Survey will be a superlative tool to constrain the chemical evolution of our Galaxy by disentangling different formation and evolution scenarios.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2014; 563:A44. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The metal-weak tail of the metallicity distribution function (MDF) of the Galactic Halo stars contains crucial information on the formation mode of the first generation of stars. To determine this observationally, it is necessary to observe large numbers of extremely metal-poor stars. We present here the Turn-Off Primordial Stars survey (TOPoS) that is conducted as an ESO Large Programme at the VLT. This project has {four} main goals: (i) to understand the formation of low-mass stars in a low-metallicity gas: determine the metal-weak tail of the halo MDF below [M/H]=-3.5. In particular, we aim at determining the critical metallicity, that is the lowest metallicity sufficient for the formation of low-mass stars; (ii) to determine the relative abundance of the elements in extremely metal-poor stars, which are the signature of the massive first stars; (iii) to determine the trend of the lithium abundance at the time when the Galaxy formed; and (iv) to derive the fraction of C-enhanced extremely metal-poor stars with respect to normal extremely metal-poor stars. The large number of stars observed in the SDSS provides a good sample of candidates of stars at extremely low metallicity. Candidates with turn-off colours down to magnitude g=20 were selected from the low-resolution spectra of SDSS by means of an automated procedure. X-Shooter has the potential of performing the necessary follow-up spectroscopy, providing accurate metallicities and abundance ratios for several key elements for these stars. We here present the stellar parameters of the first set of stars. The nineteen stars range in iron abundance between -4.1 and -2.9 dex relative to the Sun. Two stars have a high radial velocity and, according to our estimate of their kinematics, appear to be marginally bound to the Galaxy and are possibly accreted from another galaxy.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 10/2013; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extremely metal-poor stars are the direct descendants of the first generation stars. They carry the chemical signature of the pristine Universe at the time they formed, shortly after the Big Bang. We aim to derive information about extremely metal-poor stars from their observed spectra. Four extremely metal-poor stars were selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and observed during the guaranteed observing time of X-Shooter. The X-Shooter spectra were analysed using an automatic code, MyGIsFOS, which is based on a traditional analysis method. It makes use of a synthetic grid computed from one-dimensional, plane-parallel, hydrostatic model atmospheres. The low metallicity derived from the SDSS spectra is confirmed here. Two kinds of stars are found. Two stars are confirmed to be extremely metal-poor, with no evidence of any enhancement in carbon. The two other stars are strongly enhanced in carbon. We could not derive iron abundance for one of them, while [Ca/H] is below -4.5. Two of the stars are members of the rare population of extremely metal-poor stars low in alpha elements.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 09/2013; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context: Galactic abundance gradients set strong constraints to chemo-dynamical evolutionary models of the Milky Way. Given the PL relations that provide accurate distances and the large number of spectral lines, Cepheids are excellent tracers of the present-day abundance gradients. Aims: We want to measure the Galactic abundance gradient of several chemical elements. While the slope of the Cepheid iron gradient did not vary much from the very first studies, the gradients of the other elements are not that well constrained. In this paper we focus on the inner and outer regions of the Galactic thin disk. Methods: We use HR spectra (FEROS, ESPADONS, NARVAL) to measure the abundances of several light (Na, Al), alpha (Mg, Si, S, Ca), and heavy elements (Y, Zr, La, Ce, Nd, Eu) in a sample of 65 Milky Way Cepheids. Combining these results with accurate distances from period-Wesenheit relations in the NIR enables us to determine the abundance gradients in the Milky Way. Results: Our results are in good agreement with previous studies on either Cepheids or other tracers. In particular, we confirm an upward shift of approximatively 0.2 dex for the Mg abundances, as has recently been reported. We also confirm the existence of a gradient for all the heavy elements studied in the context of a LTE analysis. However, for Y, Nd, and especially La, we find lower abundances for Cepheids in the outer disk than reported in previous studies, leading to steeper gradients. This effect can be explained by the differences in the line lists used by different groups. Conclusions: Our data do not support a flattening of the gradients in the outer disk, in agreement with recent Cepheid studies and chemo-dynamical simulations. This is in contrast to the open cluster observations but remains compatible with a picture where the transition zone between the inner disk and the outer disk would move outward with time.
    08/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We present homogeneous and accurate iron abundances for almost four dozen (47) of Galactic Cepheids using high-spectral resolution (R$\sim$40,000) high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N $\ge$ 100) optical spectra collected with UVES at VLT. A significant fraction of the sample (32) is located in the inner disk (RG $le$ 6.9 kpc) and for half of them we provide new iron abundances. Current findings indicate a steady increase in iron abundance when approaching the innermost regions of the thin disk. The metallicity is super-solar and ranges from 0.2 dex for RG $\sim$ 6.5 kpc to 0.4 dex for RG $\sim$ 5.5 kpc. Moreover, we do not find evidence of correlation between iron abundance and distance from the Galactic plane. We collected similar data available in the literature and ended up with a sample of 420 Cepheids. Current data suggest that the mean metallicity and the metallicity dispersion in the four quadrants of the Galactic disk attain similar values. The first-second quadrants show a more extended metal-poor tail, while the third-fourth quadrants show a more extended metal-rich tail, but the bulk of the sample is at solar iron abundance. Finally, we found a significant difference between the iron abundance of Cepheids located close to the edge of the inner disk ([Fe/H]$\sim$0.4) and young stars located either along the Galactic bar or in the nuclear bulge ([Fe/H]$\sim$0). Thus suggesting that the above regions have had different chemical enrichment histories. The same outcome applies to the metallicity gradient of the Galactic bulge, since mounting empirical evidence indicates that the mean metallicity increases when moving from the outer to the inner bulge regions.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2013; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Iron line list (FeI and FeII) used in this analysis for iron abundance estimates. For each line the Table gives from left to right the wavelength, the ion identification, the excitation potential (EP) and the loggf values. (1 data file).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 05/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Strontium has proven itself to be one of the most important neutron-capture elements in the study of metal-poor stars. Thanks to the strong absorption lines of Sr, they can be detected even in the most metal-poor stars and also in low-resolution spectra. However, we still cannot explain the large star-to-star abundance scatter we derive for metal-poor stars. Aims: Here we compare Galactic chemical evolution (GCE) predictions with improved abundances for Sr i and Sr ii, including updated atomic data, to evaluate possible explanations for the large star-to-star scatter at low metallicities. Methods: We have derived abundances under both local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) and non-LTE (NLTE) for stars spanning a large interval of metallicities, as well as a broad range of other stellar parameters. Gravities and metallicities are also determined in NLTE. We employed MARCS stellar atmospheres and MOOG for the LTE spectrum synthesis, while MAFAGS and DETAIL were used to derive the NLTE abundances. We verified the consistency of the two methods in LTE. Results: We confirm that the ionisation equilibrium between Sr i and Sr ii is satisfied under NLTE but not LTE, where the difference between neutral and ionised Sr is on average ~0.3 dex. We show that the NLTE corrections are of increasing importance as the metallicity decreases. For the stars with [Fe/H] > -3, the Sr i NLTE correction is ~0.35/0.55 dex in dwarfs/giants, while the Sr ii NLTE correction is <±0.05 dex. Conclusions: On the basis of the large NLTE corrections to Sr i, Sr i should not be applied as a chemical tracer under LTE, while it is a good tracer under NLTE. Sr ii, on the other hand, is a good tracer under both LTE and NLTE (down to [Fe/H] ~ -3), and LTE is a safe assumption for this majority species (if the NLTE corrections are not available). However, the Sr abundance from Sr ii lines depends on determining an accurate surface gravity, which can be obtained from the NLTE spectroscopy of Fe lines or from parallax measurements. We could not explain the star-to-star scatter (which remains under both LTE and NLTE) by the use of the Galactic chemical evolution model, since Sr yields to date have been too uncertain to draw firm conclusions. At least two nucleosynthetic production sites seem necessary to account for this large scatter.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2013; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The high-resolution spectra for Carina RGs adopted in this investigation were retrieved from the ESO Science Archive. We selected spectra from four different ESO/VLT observing programs collected with either UVES (slit mode, nine RGs) or FLAMES/GIRAFFE-UVES (multifiber mode, 80 RGs). (2 data files).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 03/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Context. The origin and site(s) of the r-process nucleosynthesis is(are) still not known with certainty, but complete, detailed r-element abundances offer our best clues. The few extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars with large r-element excesses allow us to study the r-process signatures in great detail, with minimal interference from later stages of Galactic evolution. CS 31082-001 is an outstanding example of the information that can be gathered from these exceptional stars. Aims: Here we aim to complement our previous abundance determinations for third-peak r-process elements with new and improved results for elements of the first and second r-process peaks from near-UV HST/STIS and optical UVES spectra. These results should provide new insight into the nucleosynthesis of the elements beyond iron. Methods: The spectra were analyzed by a consistent approach based on an OSMARCS LTE model atmosphere and the Turbospectrum spectrum synthesis code to derive abundances of heavy elements in CS 31082-001, and using updated oscillator strengths from the recent literature. Synthetic spectra were computed for all lines of the elements of interest to check for proper line intensities and possible blends in these crowded spectra. Our new abundances were combined with the best previous results to provide reliable mean abundances for the first and second-peak r-process elements. Results: We present new abundances for 23 neutron-capture elements, 6 of which - Ge, Mo, Lu, Ta, W, and Re - have not been reported before. This makes CS 31082-001 the most completely studied r-II star, with abundances for a total of 37 neutron-capture elements. We also present the first NLTE+3D abundance of lead in this star, further constraining the nature of the r-process. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) through the Space Telescope Science Institute, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555; and with the ESO Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory, Chile; Progr. ID 165.N-0276.Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 02/2013; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the metallicity as traced by the abundance of iron in the retrograde globular cluster NGC 3201, measured from high-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectra of 24 red giant branch stars. A spectroscopic analysis reveals a spread in [Fe/H] in the cluster stars at least as large as 0.4 dex. Star-to-star metallicity variations are supported both through photometry and through a detailed examination of spectra. We find no correlation between iron abundance and distance from the cluster core, as might be inferred from recent photometric studies. NGC 3201 is the lowest mass halo cluster to date to contain stars with significantly different [Fe/H] values.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 01/2013; 764(1):L7. · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Strontium has proven itself to be one of the most important neutron-capture elements in the study of metal-poor stars. Thanks to the strong absorption lines of Sr, they can be detected even in the most metal-poor stars and also in low-resolution spectra. However, we still cannot explain the large star-to-star abundance scatter we derive for metal-poor stars. Here we contrast Galactic chemical evolution (GCE) with improved abundances for SrI+II including updated atomic data, to evaluate possible explanations for the large star-to-star scatter at low metallicities. We derive abundances under both local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) and non-LTE (NLTE) for stars spanning a large interval of stellar parameters. Gravities and metallicities are also determined in NLTE. We confirm that the ionisation equilibrium between SrI and SrII is satisfied under NLTE but not LTE, where the difference between SrI and SrII is on average ~0.3dex. We show that the NLTE corrections are of increasing importance as the metallicity decreases. For the stars with [Fe/H]>-3 the SrI NLTE correction is ~0.35/0.55dex in dwarfs/giants, while the Sr II NLTE correction is +/-0.05dex. On the basis of the large NLTE corrections, SrI should not be applied as a chemical tracer under LTE, while it is a good tracer under NLTE. SrII is a good tracer under both LTE and NLTE (down to [Fe/H]\sim -3), and LTE is a safe assumption for this majority species. However, the Sr abundance from SrII lines is dependent on an accurate surface gravity determination, which can be obtained from NLTE spectroscopy of Fe lines or from parallax measurements. We could not explain the star-to-star scatter (which remains under both LTE and NLTE) by the use of the GCE model, since the Sr yields to date are too uncertain to draw firm conclusions. At least two production sites seem necessary in order to account for this large scatter (abridged).
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 12/2012; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detailed abundances of the elements produced by r-process nucleosynthesis in various circumstances are our best observational clues to their origin, since the site(s) of r-element production is(are) still not known with certainty. A small fraction of extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars exhibit excesses of heavy neutron-capture elements produced in the r-process, and CS 31082-001 is among the 4 well-known r-process-enhanced EMP stars. Observations with HST/STIS provide abundances for elements observable only from the UV region. Here we aim to supplement the optical data with abundances from near-UV spectroscopy of the first and second peak of the r-elements, which are crucial to giving insight into the nucleosynthesis of the elements beyond iron. The UVES spectrum provided additional measurements, thereby improving the previous results. The spectra were analyzed with the OSMARCS LTE model atmosphere and with a consistent approach based on the spectrum synthesis code Turbospectrum to derive abundances of heavy elements in CS 31082-001, using updated oscillator strengths from the recent literature. We computed synthetic spectra for all lines of the elements of interest, checking for proper intensities and possible blends. We combined the abundances of heavy elements derived in previous works with the derivation of abundances from all reliable new list of lines, for the first and second peaks of r-elements. We were able to derive new abundances for 23 n-elements, 6 of them - Ge, Mo, Lu, Ta, W, and Re - were not available in previous works, making this star the most complete r-II object studied, with a total of 37 detections of n-capture elements. We also present the first NLTE+3D lead abundance in this star. The results provide improved constraints on the nature of the r-process.
    12/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: We present a brief revision of the origin of heavy elements and the role of abundances in extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars, in providing improved constraints on the nature of the early nucleosynthesis mechanisms. Heavy element abundances in the EMP uranium-rich star CS 31082-001 based mainly on near-UV spectra from STIS/HST are presented. With new abundances for 9 n-elements not available in previous works (Ge, Mo, Lu, Ta, W, Re, Pt, Au, and Bi) this work makes CS 31082-001 the most completely well studied r-II object, with a total of 37 detections of n-capture elements. These results should be useful for a better characterisation of the neutron exposure(s) that produced the r-process elements in this star, as well as a guide for improving nuclear data and astrophysical site modelling.
    12/2012;

Publication Stats

2k Citations
481.08 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013–2014
    • Université de Picardie Jules Verne
      Amiens, Picardie, France
  • 2001–2014
    • Observatoire de Paris
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
    • University of Santiago, Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile
  • 2007–2012
    • Paris Diderot University
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
    • Observatoire de Haute-Provence
      Manosque, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France