AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 109 Stellar Abundances
Invited, Thursday, January 8, 2004, 8:30am-9:20am, Centennial I/II

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[109.01] Stellar Abundances and Nucleosynthesis in the Milky Way and Beyond

V. V. Smith (University of Texas at El Paso)

Stars are responsible for most of the production of elements in the universe heavier than hydrogen and helium. The genesis of these elements occurs via many different nuclear processes across a broad range of stellar masses. The build-up of the heavy elements in a galaxy is driven by the combination of star formation, stellar evolution, and stellar death, resulting in chemical evolution within a stellar population. Abundance distributions of the chemical elements will display variations that depend on such factors as the initial mass function, star formation histories, or whether heavy-element enriched stellar ejecta are lost from a galaxy, or external gas falls into a galaxy. Observed abundance distributions from a variety of galaxies or stellar populations can be used to infer the chemical enrichment histories as a function of galactic environment. Detailed abundances can now be derived in a number of Local Group galaxies using high-resolution spectrometers on 8-10 meter telescopes. We will discuss the nature of chemical evolution in some nearby Local Group galaxies and compare these to what is observed in the Milky Way disk and halo populations.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.