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The 671 nm Li i line in solar granulation
Received 22 October 1997 / Accepted 2 February 1998
The astrophysically very interesting Li i 671 nm line has been observed with high spatial resolution in solar granulation with the intention to diagnose departures from local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) in the line formation. The spectral feature is very weak, so this is also a test on the limits of such observations. The observations of the Li i line and other weak lines nearby are compared with the results of synthetic line calculations in three-dimensional granulation simulations. The dependence of line-centre velocities on photospheric continuum brightness is well described by the simulations. The observed equivalent width of the Li i line show an approximately flat dependence on continuum brightness, contrary to the theoretical LTE results. Detailed modelling of the line radiative transfer, with an approximate inclusion of three-dimensional effects, gives a better agreement with observations. The match is not perfect and various interesting reasons for this are considered. However, the possibility of systematic errors caused by the sensitivity of the Li i equivalent width to continuum placement calls for cautiousness in the conclusions.
Key words: line: formation Sun: abundances Sun: granulation Sun: photosphere
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998
Online publication: April 20, 1998