Commission B5 WG High-Accuracy Stellar Spectroscopy


The measurement of stellar properties such as chemical compositions, masses and ages is a fundamental problem in astrophysics. While stellar spectral line strengths are now routinely measured at accuracies of 1% or better, systematic errors dominate the interpretation, and the actual errors in derived properties, such as the abundance of a chemical element, are at least an order of magnitude larger. Advances in the accuracy of interpretation of stellar spectra, and thus the accuracy of stellar chemical compositions and other properties, are needed to gain insight into many current problems in modern astrophysics: e.g. the formation of planets, stars and galaxies, fundamental stellar physics, the origin and evolution of the chemical elements, and cosmology.

The role of this working group is to promote relevant work within laboratory astrophysics: the high-accuracy atomic and molecular data required for accurate stellar spectroscopy. To obtain the required data with the accuracy and completeness needed for analysis of stellar spectra at the 1% accuracy level is a significant challenge, and requires the interplay between theoretical atomic physics, laboratory spectroscopy, and astrophysical observations. A main objective of the working group is to promote the interaction of these three fields.


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Commission B5 Laboratory Astrophysics

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