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Masses and ages for metal-poor stars
A pilot programme combining asteroseismology and high-resolution spectroscopic follow-up of RAVE halo stars

M. Valentini, C. Chiappini, D. Bossini, A. Miglio, G. R. Davies, B. Mosser, Y. Elsworth, S. Mathur, R. A. García, L. Girardi, T. S. Rodrigues, M. Steinmetz, A. Vallenari

Context. Very metal-poor halo stars are the best candidates for being among the oldest objects in our Galaxy. Samples of halo stars with age determination and detailed chemical composition measurements provide key information for constraining the nature of the first stellar generations and the nucleosynthesis in the metal-poor regime.
Aims. Age estimates are very uncertain and are available for only a small number of metal-poor stars. We present the first results of a pilot programme aimed at deriving precise masses, ages, and chemical abundances for metal-poor halo giants using asteroseismology and high-resolution spectroscopy.
Methods. We obtained high-resolution UVES spectra for four metal-poor RAVE stars observed by the K2 satellite. Seismic data obtained from K2 light curves helped improve spectroscopic temperatures, metallicities, and individual chemical abundances. Mass and ages were derived using the code PARAM, investigating the effects of different assumptions (e.g. mass loss and [α/Fe]-enhancement). Orbits were computed using Gaia DR2 data.
Results. The stars are found to be normal metal-poor halo stars (i.e. non C-enhanced), and an abundance pattern typical of old stars (i.e. α and Eu-enhanced), and have masses in the 0.80−1.0 M range. The inferred model-dependent stellar ages are found to range from 7.4 Gyr to 13.0 Gyr with uncertainties of ∼30%−35%. We also provide revised masses and ages for metal-poor stars with Kepler seismic data from the APOGEE survey and a set of M4 stars.
Conclusions. The present work shows that the combination of asteroseismology and high-resolution spectroscopy provides precise ages in the metal-poor regime. Most of the stars analysed in the present work (covering the metallicity range of [Fe/H] ∼ −0.8 to −2 dex) are very old >9 Gyr (14 out of 19 stars), and all of the stars are older than >5 Gyr (within the 68 percentile confidence level).

stars: fundamental parameters / asteroseismology / stars: abundances

Atmospheric parameters, abundances, and the linelist are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via
★★ Based on data collected during ESO programme 099.D-0913(a).

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 627, Article Number A173, Number of pages 23
2019 July

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Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia