Whether or not metal-rich HB stars are the dominant UV source in giant elliptical galaxies (GEs) is an important question in current astronomical research. We follow up our previous evolutionary population synthesis study with quantitative tests to answer this question affirmatively under the following three conditions: (1) Reimers's empirical mass-loss formula is proper, (2) the mass-loss efficiency parameter η in metal-rich stars is somewhat larger than the value estimated from the metal-poor star studies, and (3) the true value of the helium-enrichment parameter (ΔY/ΔZ) is positive. All three important empirical characteristics of the UV upturn (i.e., the fact that strong UV upturns are restricted to GEs, the positive UV upturn-metallicity correlation, and the narrow range of the Teff of the UV sources) are closely reproduced for reasonable ranges of input parameters. We discuss the major sources of uncertainties in the models, such as the production and role of hot horizontal-branch stars in GEs, and the importance of galactic nucleosynthesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science