MK morphological study of Am stars at 66 Å/mm
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The pseudo-luminosity effect in the metallic line A-type stars found by Abt & Morgan (1976) is confirmed in a random sample of 27 Am stars. From a morphological study of their spectra in the wavelength interval 3850-4400 Å at a reciprocal dispersion of 66 Å/mm, revised spectral types are given on the MK system for their K-line and metallic-line spectra. This shows that: (a) our segregation of weak Am from the Am stars largely agrees with that by Cowleyet al. (1969); (b) all the stars in the sample are dwarfs according to their K-line classification; (c) more than 80 per cent exhibit the pseudo-luminosity effect significantly, with their metallic-line spectra resembling a giant or even a supergiant in the violet (3850-4100 Å), and a giant rather than a dwarf in the blue region (4260-4400 Å); (d) in two-thirds of the stars under (c), the Sr n 4077 Å line is found to have a markedly brighter luminosity class compared to any region, and in more than one-third of the sample it is comparable to that in Ap stars; (e) at least five stars exhibit characteristics which might suggest a spectrum variability: among these, the most striking example is 41 Sex A which was found to show a phase-modulated spectrum variation hitherto unknown in Am stars; (f) the metallic-line spectra of another five stars appear to be similar to A-shell type in differing degrees; (g) less than 20 per cent of the sample comprises stars which do not show any significant differential luminosity effect; these stars might have been misclassified or perhaps they are in a quiescent state.
We also confirm the conclusion arrived at by Böhm-Vitense & Johnson (1978) that all Am stars may vary and our observations suggest that groups may exist among them.
Key wordsstars metallic-line stars, spectrum classification
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