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Astron. Astrophys. 362, 1077-1082 (2000)

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Non-LTE analysis of neutral magnesium in cool stars *

G. Zhao 1,2 and T. Gehren 1,2

1 Beijing Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100012 Beijing, P.R. China
2 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik der Universität München, Scheinerstrasse 1, 81679 München, Germany (zg@orion.bao.ac.cn, gehren@usm.uni-muenchen.de)

Received 21 June 2000 / Accepted 31 August 2000


Calculations of the statistical equilibrium of magnesium in the solar photosphere have shown that NLTE populations hardly affect Mg line formation in the Sun. However, in metal-poor dwarfs and giants the influence of electron collisions is reduced, and the ultraviolet radiation field, enhanced due to reduced background line opacity, results in more pronounced NLTE effects. In the photosphere of a cool star excitation and ionization due to collisions with neutral hydrogen can outweigh electron collisions. Analyses based on NLTE populations lead to significantly higher Mg abundances than those calculated from LTE. We calculate magnesium abundances in 10 cool dwarfs and subgiants with metallicities from -2.29 to 0.0. The results are based on spectra of high-resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio. Stellar effective temperatures are derived from Balmer line profiles, surface gravities from Hipparcos parallaxes and the wings of the MgI b triplet, and metal abundances and microturbulence velocities are obtained from LTE analyses of FeII line profiles. For stars with metallicities between [FORMULA] [Fe/H] [FORMULA] abundance corrections [FORMULA] are found. As expected the corrections increase with decreasing metal abundance, and they increase slightly with decreasing surface gravity. We also calculate the statistical equilibrium of magnesium for series of model atmospheres with different stellar parameters and find that [FORMULA] increases with effective temperature between 5200 and 6500 K. For extremely metal-poor stars the abundance corrections approach [FORMULA] at [Fe/H] [FORMULA].

Key words: atomic processes – line: formation – stars: abundances – stars: late-type

* Based on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center, Calar Alto, Spain and Beijing Astronomical Observatory, Xinglong, China

Send offprint requests to: G. Zhao

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: October 30, 2000