Argon abundances in the solar neighborhood: Non-LTE analysis of orion association B-type stars

Thierry Lanz, Katia Cunha, Jon Holtzman, Ivan Hubeny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Argon abundances have been derived for a sample of B main-sequence stars in the Orion association. The abundance calculations are based on non-LTE (NLTE) metal line-blanketed model atmospheres calculated with the NLTE code TLUSTY and an updated and complete argon model atom. We derive an average argon abundance for this young population of A(Ar) = 6.66 ± 0.06. While our result is in excellent agreement with a recent analysis of the Orion Nebula, it is significantly higher than the currently recommended solar value, which is based on abundance measurements in the solar corona. Moreover, the derived argon abundances in the Orion B stars agree very well with a measurement from a solar impulsive flare during which unmodified solar photospheric material was brought to flare conditions. We therefore argue that the argon abundances obtained independently for both the Orion B stars and the Orion Nebula are representative of the disk abundance value in the solar neighborhood. The lower coronal abundance may reflect a depletion related to the first ionization potential (FIP) effect. We propose a new reference value for the abundance of argon in the solar neighborhood, A(Ar) = 6.63 ± 0.10, corresponding to Ar/O = 0.009 ± 0.002.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1342-1350
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 10 2008


  • Astrochemistry
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: early-type
  • Sun: abundances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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