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Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

Abteilung Astronomie

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Preprint 03/13


The virtual observatory service TheoSSA: Establishing a database of synthetic stellar flux standards. I. NLTE spectral analysis of the DA-type white dwarf G 191-B2B

T. Rauch (1), R. Bohlin (2), J. W. Kruk (3),K. Werner (1)

(1) Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Kepler Center for Astro and Particle Physics, Eberhard Karls University, Tuebingen, Germany
(2) Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA
(3) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

To be published in: A&A

Abstract. H-rich, DA-type white dwarfs are particularly suited as primary standard stars for flux calibration. State-of-the-art NLTE models consider opacities of species up to trans-iron elements and provide reliable synthetic stellar-atmosphere spectra to compare with observation.
We establish a database of theoretical spectra of stellar flux standards that are easily accessible via a web interface.
In the framework of the Virtual Observatory, the German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory developed the registered service TheoSSA. It provides easy access to stellar spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and is intended to ingest SEDs calculated by any model-atmosphere code. In case of the DA white dwarf G 191-B2B, we demonstrate that the model reproduces not only its overall continuum shape but also the numerous metal lines exhibited in its ultraviolet spectrum.
TheoSSA is in operation and contains presently a variety of SEDs for DA white dwarfs. It will be extended in the near future and can host SEDs of all primary and secondary flux standards. The spectral analysis of G 191-B2B has shown that our hydrostatic models reproduce the observations best at an effective temperature of 60000 ± 2000K and a surface gravity of log g = 7.60 ± 0.05. We newly identified Fe VI, Ni VI, and Zn IV lines. For the first time, we determined the photospheric zinc abundance with a logarithmic mass fraction of -4.89 (7.5 times solar). The abundances of He (upper limit), C, N, O, Al, Si, O, P, S, Fe, Ni, Ge, and Sn were precisely determined. Upper abundance limits of 10% solar were derived for Ti, Cr, Mn, and Co.
The TheoSSA database of theoretical SEDs of stellar flux standards guarantees that the flux calibration of all astronomical data and cross-calibration between different instruments can be based on the same models and SEDs calculated with different model-atmosphere codes and are easy to compare.
 

Preprint (1,75 Mb PDF file including figures)


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