Journal Article

Nitrogen enrichment in atmospheres of A- and F-type supergiants

Leonid S. Lyubimkov, David L. Lambert, Sergey A. Korotin, Dmitry B. Poklad, Tamara M. Rachkovskaya and Sergey I. Rostopchin

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 410, issue 3, pages 1774-1786
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17560.x
Nitrogen enrichment in atmospheres of A- and F-type supergiants

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Using new accurate fundamental parameters of 30 Galactic A and F supergiants, namely their effective temperatures Teff and surface gravities log g, we implemented a non-LTE analysis of the nitrogen abundance in their atmospheres. It is shown that the non-LTE corrections to the N abundances increase with Teff. The nitrogen overabundance as a general feature of this type of stars is confirmed. A majority of the stars have a nitrogen excess [N/Fe] between 0.2 and 0.9 dex with the maximum position of the star's distribution on [N/Fe] between 0.4 and 0.7 dex. The N excesses are discussed in light of predictions for B-type main sequence (MS) stars with rotationally induced mixing and for their next evolutionary phase, i.e. A- and F-type supergiants that have experienced the first dredge-up. Rotationally induced mixing in the MS progenitors of the supergiants may be a significant cause of the nitrogen excesses. When comparing our results with predictions of the theory developed for stars with the mixing, we find that the bulk of the supergiants (28 of 30) show the N enrichment that can be expected (i) either after the MS phase for stars with the initial rotational velocities v0= 200–400 km s-1 (ii) or after the first dredge-up for stars with v0= 50–400 km s-1. The latter possibility is preferred on account of the longer lifetime for stars on red–blue loops following the first dredge-up. Two supergiants without a discernible N enrichment, namely HR 825 and HR 7876, may be post-MS objects with the relatively low initial rotational velocity of about 100 km s−1. The suggested range for v0 is approximately consistent with inferences from the observed projected rotational velocities of B-type MS stars, progenitors of A and F supergiants.

Keywords: stars: abundances; stars: evolution; supergiants

Journal Article.  9925 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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