University of Chicago Press for the American Astronomical Society
Astrophysical Journal vol:781 issue:2
We have composed a sample of 68 massive stars in our galaxy whose projected rotational velocity, effective temperature, and gravity are available from high-precision spectroscopic measurements. The additional seven observed variables considered here are their surface nitrogen abundance, rotational frequency, magnetic field strength, and the amplitude and frequency of their dominant acoustic and gravity modes of oscillation. A multiple linear regression to estimate the nitrogen abundance combined with principal component analysis, after addressing the incomplete and truncated nature of the data, reveals that the effective temperature and the frequency of the dominant acoustic oscillation mode are the only two significant predictors for the nitrogen abundance, while the projected rotational velocity and the rotational frequency have no predictive power. The dominant gravity mode and the magnetic field strength are correlated with the effective temperature but have no predictive power for the nitrogen abundance. Our findings are completely based on observations and their proper statistical treatment and call for a new strategy in evaluating the outcome of stellar evolution computations.