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Stellar Archaeology: Using Metal-Poor Stars to Test Theories of the Early Universe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2008

Anna Frebel
Affiliation:
McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, 1 University Station, C1402, Austin TX, 78712 email: anna@astro.as.utexas.edu, jljohnson@astro.as.utexas.edu, vbromm@astro.as.utexas.edu
Jarrett L. Johnson
Affiliation:
McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, 1 University Station, C1402, Austin TX, 78712 email: anna@astro.as.utexas.edu, jljohnson@astro.as.utexas.edu, vbromm@astro.as.utexas.edu
Volker Bromm
Affiliation:
McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, 1 University Station, C1402, Austin TX, 78712 email: anna@astro.as.utexas.edu, jljohnson@astro.as.utexas.edu, vbromm@astro.as.utexas.edu
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Abstract

Constraints on the chemical yields of the first stars and supernova can be derived by examining the abundance patterns of different types of metal-poor stars. We show how metal-poor stars are employed to derive constraints of the formation of the first low-mass stars by testing a fine-structure line cooling theory. The concept of stellar archaeology, that stellar abundances truly reflect the chemical composition of the earliest times, is then addressed. The accretion history of a sample of metal-poor stars is examined in detail in a cosmological context, and found to have no impact on the observed abundances. Predictions are made for the lowest possible Fe and Mg abundances observable in the Galaxy, [Fe/H]min = −7.5 and [Mg/H]min = −5.5. The absence of stars below these values is so far consistent with a top-heavy IMF. These predictions are directly relevant for future surveys and the next generation of telescopes.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2008

References

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