The present-day chemical composition of the SMC from UVES spectra of the sharp-lined, B-type dwarf AV 304

W.R.J. Rolleston, K. Venn, E. Tolstoy, Philip Dufton

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Abstract

High-resolution spectroscopic VLT/UVES observations are presented for the B-type main-sequence star, AV 304, in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). These spectra have been analysed using LTE model-atmosphere techniques, to derive stellar atmospheric parameters and chemical compositions. As AV 304 is located within the hydrogen burning main-sequence band, its chemical composition should reflect that of the SMC interstellar medium (ISM). A detailed line-by-line differential analysis has been undertaken relative to a Galactic comparison star. A general metal deficiency for the a-process elements O, Si & S of -0.43 +/- 0.05 dex is found for AV 304, with iron having a similar underabundance. Oxygen may be relatively over- abundant by similar to0.1 dex and carbon and aluminium underabundant by similar to0.2 dex. A large nitrogen underabundance (of -1.2 dex relative to hydrogen and -0.7 dex relative to iron) is found. This is interpreted in terms of the CNO bi-cycle having been suppressed in the SMC. Furthermore, the large nitrogen deficiency is in excellent agreement with that found for SMC H II regions. Indeed, this represents a first for stellar astrophysics - confirming the low base-line nitrogen composition of the SMC ISM (viz. 12+log(N/H) similar to 6.66 +/- 0.10 dex).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume400
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

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