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Atmospheric parameter determination for massive stars via non-LTE spectrum analysis

  • Nieva, Maria-Fernanda
  • Przybilla, Norbert
Published Article
Publication Date
Dec 02, 2010
Submission Date
Dec 02, 2010
DOI: 10.1051/eas/1043013
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We describe a self-consistent spectrum analysis technique employing non-LTE line formation, which allows precise atmospheric parameters of massive stars to be derived: 1sigma-uncertainties as low as ~1% in effective temperature and ~0.05-0.10 dex in surface gravity can be achieved. Special emphasis is given to the minimisation of the main sources of systematic errors in the atmospheric model computation, the observed spectra and the quantitative spectral analysis. Examples of applications are discussed for OB-type stars near the main sequence and their evolved progeny, the BA-type supergiants, covering masses of ~8 to 25 Msun and a range in effective temperature from ~8000 to 35000 K. Relaxing the assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium in stellar spectral synthesis has been shown to be decisive for improving the accuracy of quantitative analyses. Despite the present examples, which concentrate on hot, massive stars, the same philosophy can be applied to line-formation calculations for all types of stars, including cooler objects like the Sun, once the underlying stellar atmospheric physics is reproduced consistently.

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