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Atomic Data Needs in Astrophysics: The Galactic Center “Scandium Mystery”

Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics, Lund University, Box 43, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 12 January 2020 / Accepted: 14 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
Investigating the Galactic center offers unique insights into the buildup and history of our Galaxy and is a stepping stone to understand galaxies in a larger context. It is reasonable to expect that the stars found in the Galactic center might have a different composition compared to stars found in the local neighborhood around the Sun. It is therefore quite exciting when recently there were reports of unusual neutral scandium, yttrium, and vanadium abundances found in the Galactic center stars, compared to local neighborhood stars. To explain the scandium abundances in the Galactic center, we turn to recent laboratory measurements and theoretical calculations done on the atomic oscillator strengths of neutral scandium lines in the near infrared. We combine these with measurements of the hyper fine splitting of neutral scandium. We show how these results can be used to explain the reported unusual scandium abundances and conclude that in this respect, the environment of the Galactic center is not that different from the environment in the local neighborhood around the sun. View Full-Text
Keywords: Galactic center; stellar abundances; scandium; hyper fine splitting Galactic center; stellar abundances; scandium; hyper fine splitting
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Thorsbro, B. Atomic Data Needs in Astrophysics: The Galactic Center “Scandium Mystery”. Atoms 2020, 8, 4.

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