Chemical abundances of OB stars with high projected rotational velocities

Simone Daflon, Katia Cunha, Keith Butler, Verne V. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Elemental abundances of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, magnesium, aluminum, and silicon are presented for a sample of 12 rapidly rotating OB star (υ sin i > 60 km s-1) members of the Cep OB2, Cyg OB3, and Cyg OB7 associations. The abundances are derived from spectrum synthesis, using both LTE and non-LTE calculations. As found in almost all previous studies of OB stars, the average abundances are slightly below solar, by about 0.1 to 0.3 dex. In the case of oxygen, even with the recently derived low solar abundances, the OB stars are closer to, but still below, the solar value. Results for the nine Cep OB2 members in this sample can be combined with results published previously for eight Cep OB2 stars with low projected rotational velocities to yield the most complete set of abundances, to date, for this particular association. These abundances provide a clear picture of both the general chemical and individual stellar evolution that has occurred within this association. By placing the Cep OB2 stars studied in an HR-diagram we identify the presence of two distinct age subgroups, with both subgroups having quite uniform chemical abundances. Two stars are found in the older subgroup that show significant N/O overabundances, with both stars being two of the most massive, the most evolved, and the most rapidly rotating of the members studied in Cep OB2. These characteristics of increased N abundances being tied to high mass, rapid rotation, and an evolved phase are those predicted from models of rotating stars that undergo rotationally driven mixing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: early-type
  • Stars: rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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