Context. Precise and accurate determinations of the atmospheric parameters effective temperature and surface gravity are mandatory to derive reliable chemical abundances in OB stars. Furthermore, fundamental parameters like distances, masses, radii, luminosities can also be derived from the temperature and gravity of the stars.
Aims: Atmospheric parameters recently determined at high precision with several independent spectroscopic indicators in non-local thermodynamic equilibrium, with typical uncertainties of ~300 K for temperature and of ~0.05 dex for gravity, are employed to calibrate photometric relationships. This is in order to investigate whether a faster tool to estimate atmospheric parameters can be provided.
Methods: Temperatures and gravities of 30 calibrators, i.e. well-studied OB main sequence to giant stars in the solar neighbourhood, are compared to reddening-independent quantities of the Johnson and Strömgren photometric systems, assuming normal reddening. In addition, we examine the spectral and luminosity classification of the star sample and compute bolometric corrections.
Results: Calibrations of temperatures and gravities are proposed for various photometric indices and spectral types. Once the luminosity of the stars is well known, effective temperatures can be determined at a precision of ~400 K for luminosity classes III/IV and ~800 K for luminosity class V. Furthermore, surface gravities can reach internal uncertainties as low as ~0.08 dex when using our calibration to the Johnson Q-parameter. Similar precision is achieved for gravities derived from the β-index and the precision is lower for both atmospheric parameters when using the Strömgren indices [c1] and [u - b] . In contrast, external uncertainties are larger for the Johnson than for the Strömgren calibrations. Our uncertainties are smaller than typical differences among other methods in the literature, reaching values up to ± 2000 K for temperature and ± 0.25 dex for gravity, and in extreme cases, + 6000 K and ± 0.4 dex, respectively. A parameter calibration for sub-spectral types is also proposed. Moreover, we present a new bolometric correction relation to temperature based on our empirical data, rather than on synthetic grids.
Conclusions: The photometric calibrations presented here are useful tools to estimate effective temperatures and surface gravities of non-supergiant OB stars in a fast manner. This is also applicable to some single-line spectroscopic binaries, but caution has to be taken for undetected double-lined spectroscopic binaries and single objects with anomalous reddening-law, dubious photometric quantities and/or luminosity classes, for which the systematic uncertainties may increase significantly. We recommend to use these calibrations only as a first step of the parameter estimation, with subsequent refinements based on spectroscopy. A larger sample covering more uniformly the parameter space under consideration will allow refinements to the present calibrations.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- February 2013
- stars: atmospheres;
- stars: early-type;
- stars: fundamental parameters;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 14 pages, 11 figures, accepted to be published in A&