Non-LTE effects on the lead and thorium abundance determinations for cool stars

L. Mashonkina (1, 2),  A. Ryabtsev (3) and A. Frebel (4,5) ((1) Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Scheinerstr, München, Germany; (2) Russian Academy of Sciences, RU, Moscow, Russia; (3) Russian Academy of Sciences, 142190, Troitsk, Moscow region, Russia; (4) Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA USA; (5) Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, USA)

Knowing accurate Pb abundances of metal-poor stars provides constraints on the Pb production mechanisms in the early Galaxy. Accurately deriving Th abundances permits a nucleo-chronometric age determination of the star. We improve the calculation of the Pb I and Th II lines in stellar atmospheres based on non-LTE line formation and evaluate the influence of departures from LTE on Pb and Th abundance determinations through a range of stellar parameters. Comprehensive model atoms for Pb I and Th II are presented. The departures from LTE lead to systematically depleted total absorption in the Pb I lines and positive abundance corrections. Non-LTE removes the discrepancy between the solar and the meteoritic Pb abundance. With the Holweger & Mueller (1974) solar model atmosphere, log eps(Pb, non-LTE) = 2.09. We revise the Pb and Eu abundances of the strongly r-process enhanced (r-II) stars CS 31082-001 and HE 1523-0901 and the Roederer et al. (2010) stellar sample. Our results provide strong evidence for universal Pb/Eu relative r-process yields during course of the Galaxy evolution. The stars with -2.3<[Fe/H]< -1.4 have, on average, 0.51 dex higher Pb/Eu ratios compared with that of the r-II stars suggesting that the s-process synthesis of Pb started as early as the time when Galactic metallicity had grown to [Fe/H] = -2.3. The average Pb/Eu ratio of the -1.4<[Fe/H]< -0.59 stars is close to the solar value, in line with the predictions of Travaglio et al. (2001) that AGB stars with [Fe/H] ~ -1 provided the largest contribution to the solar s-nuclei of Pb. Non-LTE leads to weakened Th II lines. Overall, the abundance correction does not exceed +0.2 dex when collisions with H I atoms are taken into account in non-LTE calculations.

Complete preprint ==> http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.2630

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