Effective temperature determinations of late-type stars based on 3D non-LTE Balmer line formation

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    A. M. Amarsi, Max Planck Inst Astron, Max Planck Society, T. Nordlander, ARC Ctr Excellence All Sky Astrophys 3 Dimens AST, P. S. Barklem, Uppsala Univ, Uppsala University, Dept Phys & Astron, Theoret Astrophys, M. Asplund, Australian Natl Univ, Australian National University, Res Sch Astron & Astrophys,
  • R. Collet
  • K. Lind, Max Planck Inst Astron, Max Planck Society, Uppsala Univ, Uppsala University, Dept Phys & Astron, Theoret Astrophys

Hydrogen Balmer lines are commonly used as spectroscopic effective temperature diagnostics of late-type stars. However, reliable inferences require accurate model spectra, and the absolute accuracy of classical methods that are based on one-dimensional (1D) hydrostatic model atmospheres and local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) is still unclear. To investigate this, we carry out 3D non-LTE calculations for the Balmer lines, performed, for the first time, over an extensive grid of 3D hydrodynamic STAGGER model atmospheres. For H alpha, H beta, and H gamma we find significant 1D non-LTE versus 3D non-LTE differences (3D effects): the outer wings tend to be stronger in 3D models, particularly for H gamma, while the inner wings can be weaker in 3D models, particularly for H alpha. For H alpha, we also find significant 3D LTE versus 3D non-LTE differences (non-LTE effects): in warmer stars (T-eff approximate to 6500 K) the inner wings tend to be weaker in non-LTE models, while at lower effective temperatures (T-eff approximate to 4500 K) the inner wings can be stronger in non-LTE models; the non-LTE effects are more severe at lower metallicities. We test our 3D non-LTE models against observations of well-studied benchmark stars. For the Sun, we infer concordant effective temperatures from H alpha, H beta, and H gamma; however the value is too low by around 50 K which could signal residual modelling shortcomings. For other benchmark stars, our 3D non-LTE models generally reproduce the effective temperatures to within 1 sigma uncertainties. For H alpha, the absolute 3D effects and non-LTE effects can separately reach around 100 K, in terms of inferred effective temperatures. For metal-poor turn-off stars, 1D LTE models of H alpha can underestimate effective temperatures by around 150 K. Our 3D non-LTE model spectra are publicly available, and can be used for more reliable spectroscopic effective temperature determinations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Volume615
Number of pages19
ISSN1432-0746
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • radiative transfer, line: formation, line: profiles, stars: atmospheres, stars: late-type, COOL DWARF STARS, ELECTRON-IMPACT IONIZATION, MODEL STELLAR ATMOSPHERES, ATOM-ATOM COLLISIONS, METAL-POOR STARS, SOLAR-TYPE STARS, RADIATIVE-TRANSFER, CHEMICAL-COMPOSITION, EXCITED ATOMS, CROSS-SECTION

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 131132715