MOLECULES AND MOLECULAR OPACITIES IN COOL STELLAR ATMOSPHERES
Creators:Wing, R. F.
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Publisher:Ohio State University
A large number of diatomic molecules, and a few small polyatomics, can be identified in the absorption spectra of cool stars. Although molecule formation occurs preferentially in the uppermost layers of a stellar atmosphere, some molecules occur throughout the photosphere, and some molecules (not necessarily the most abundant) are effective opacity sources which affect the structure of the atmosphere. Complete knowledge of the absorption spectra of these molecules at elevated temperatures is needed for the calculation of correct stellar atmospheric models, which in turn are needed before elemental compositions can be derived from the observed spectra. Summaries will be given of (1) the molecules expected to be most abundant in stellar atmospheres, with an indication of whether or not they have been spectroscopically identified, and (2) the molecules expected to be the most important opacity sources, with an indication as to whether they have yet been included satisfactorily in model-atmosphere calculations.
Author Institution: Astronomy Department, The Ohio State University
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