STELLAR PULSATION: CHALLENGES FOR THEORY AND OBSERVATION: Proceedings of the International Conference
Los Alamos stellar pulsation conferences: STELLAR PULSATION: CHALLENGES FOR THEORY AND OBSERVATION
31 mai au 5 juin 2009
[en] Pulsations ; oscillations ; and stellar seismology ; Low-amplitude blue variables ; Normal stars : general or individual
[en] Since the early nineties it is accepted that the excitation mechanism of B-type pulsators on the main sequence is due to the opacity peak in the iron-group elements at T~200,000 K. The Fe content plays then a major role in the excitation of β Cep and SPB pulsations. While theoretical non-adiabatic computations predict no β Cep pulsators and only a small number of SPBs for low metallicity environments such as that of the Magellanic Clouds (MCs), recent variability surveys of B stars in the SMC have reported the detection of a significant number of SPB and β Cep candidates. Since the SMC is the metal poorest (Z~0001-0.004) of the MCs, it constitutes an interesting object for investigating the disagreement between theory and observations. We approach the problem by calling into question some of the hypotheses made in previous studies: given the different chemical evolution of the SMC compared with our local galactic environment, is it appropriate to describe the chemical composition of SMC B stars by scaling the solar mixture to lower Z? Is that composition uniform in space and time? In this paper we present the results of a stability analysis of B-type stellar models computed with a revised chemical composition and metallicity specific to the SMC.