Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 542A, 33-33 (2012/6-1)
M-dwarf metallicities. A high-resolution spectroscopic study in the near infrared.
OENEHAG A., HEITER U., GUSTAFSSON B., PISKUNOV N., PLEZ B. and REINERS A.
Abstract (from CDS):
The relatively wide spread in the derived metallicities ([Fe/H]) of M dwarfs shows that various approaches have not yet converged to consistency. The presence of strong molecular features and incomplete line lists for the corresponding molecules have made determining the metallicity of M dwarfs difficult. Furthermore, the faint M dwarfs require long exposure times for the signal-to-noise ratio needed for a detailed spectroscopic abundance analysis. We present a high-resolution (R∼50000) spectroscopic study of a sample of eight single M dwarfs and three wide-binary systems observed in the infrared J band. The absence of large molecular contributions allows for a precise continuum placement. We derived metallicities based on the best fit of synthetic spectra to the observed spectra. To verify the accuracy of the applied atmospheric models and test our synthetic spectrum approach, three binary systems with a K-dwarf primary and an M-dwarf companion were observed and analysed along with the single M dwarfs. We obtain good agreement between the metallicities derived for the primaries and secondaries of our test binaries, thereby confirming the reliability of our method of analysing M dwarfs. Our metallicities agree well with some earlier determinations, and deviate from others. We conclude that spectroscopic abundance analysis in the J band is a reliable method for establishing the metallicity scale for M dwarfs. We recommend its application to a larger sample covering lower, as well as higher, metallicities. Further prospects for the method include abundance determinations for individual elements.