Indexed on: 28 Sep '04Published on: 28 Sep '04Published in: Astrophysics
We present LTE and NLTE atmospheric models of a star with solar parameters, and study the effect of treating many thousands of Iron group lines out of LTE on the computed atmospheric structure, overall absolute flux distribution, and the moderately high resolution spectrum in the visible and near UV bands. Our NLTE modeling includes the first two or three ionization stages of 20 chemical elements, up to and including much of the Fe-group, and includes about 20000 Fe I and II lines. We investigate separately the effects of treating the light metals and the Fe-group elements in NLTE. Our main conclusions are that 1) NLTE line blanketed models with direct multi-level NLTE for many actual transitions gives qualitatively similar results as the more approximate treatment of Anderson (1989) for both the Fe statistical equilibrium and the atmospheric temperature structure, 2) models with many Fe lines in NLTE have a temperature structure that agrees more closely with LTE semi-empirical models based on center-to-limb variation and a wide variety of spectra lines, whereas LTE models agree more with semi-empirical models based only on an LTE calculation of the Fe I excitation equilibrium, 3) the NLTE effects of Fe-group elements on the model structure and flux distribution are much more important than the NLTE effects of all the light metals combined, and serve to substantially increases the violet and near UV flux level as a result of NLTE Fe over-ionization. These results suggest that there may still be important UV opacity missing from the models.