Nowadays, several opacity codes are able to provide data for stellar structure models, but the computed opacities may show significant differences. In this work, we present state-of-the-art precise spectral opacity calculations, illustrated by stellar applications. The essential role of laboratory experiments to check the quality of the computed data is underlined. We review some X-ray and XUV laser and Z-pinch photo-absorption measurements as well as X-ray emission spectroscopy experiments involving hot dense plasmas produced by ultra-high-intensity laser irradiation. The measured spectra are systematically compared with the fine-structure opacity code SCO-RCG. The focus is on iron, due to its crucial role in understanding asteroseismic observations of β
Cephei-type and Slowly Pulsating B stars, as well as of the Sun. For instance, in β
Cephei-type stars, the iron-group opacity peak excites acoustic modes through the “kappa-mechanism”. Particular attention is paid to the higher-than-predicted iron opacity measured at the Sandia Z-machine at solar interior conditions. We discuss some theoretical aspects such as density effects, photo-ionization, autoionization or the “filling-the-gap” effect of highly excited states.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited