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Title: An Analysis of Ultraviolet Spectra of Extreme Helium Stars and New Clues to Their Origins
Authors: Pandey, G
Lambert, D. L
Simon, C. S
Kameswara Rao, N
Keywords: Stars;Abundances—stars;Chemically peculiar—stars;Evolution
Issue Date: Feb-2006
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Citation: The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 638, No. 1, pp. 454 - 471
Abstract: Abundances of about 18 elements including the heavy elements Y and Zr are determined from Hubble Space Telescope Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph ultraviolet spectra of seven extreme helium stars (EHes): LSE 78, BD +10 2179, V1920 Cyg, HD 124448, PV Tel, LS IV-1 2, and FQ Aqr. New optical spectra of BD +10 2179, V1920 Cyg, and HD 124448 were analyzed, and published line lists of LSE 78, HD 124448, and PV Tel were analyzed afresh. The abundance analyses are done using LTE line formation and LTE model atmospheres especially constructed for these EHes. The stellar parameters derived from an EHe's UV spectrum are in satisfactory agreement with those derived from its optical spectrum. Adopted abundances for the seven EHes are from a combination of the UV and optical analyses. Published results for an additional 10 EHes provide abundances obtained in a nearly uniform manner for a total of 17 EHes, the largest sample on record. The initial metallicity of an EHe is indicated by the abundance of elements from Al to Ni; Fe is adopted to be the representative of initial metallicity. Iron abundances range from approximately solar to about 1/100 solar. Clues to EHe evolution are contained within the H, He, C, N, O, Y, and Zr abundances. Two novel results are (1) the O abundance for some stars is close to the predicted initial abundance yet the N abundance indicates almost complete conversion of initial C, N, and O to N by the CNO cycles; and (2) three of the seven stars with UV spectra show a strong enhancement of Y and Zr attributable to an s-process. The observed compositions are discussed in light of expectations from accretion of an He white dwarf by a C-O white dwarf. Qualitative agreement seems likely except that a problem may be presented by those stars in which the O abundance is close to the initial O abundance.
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