TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE SYSTEMATIC UNCERTAINTIES IN DERIVING THE PRIMORDIAL HELIUM ABUNDANCE FROM H II REGION OBSERVATIONS

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Abstract

Recent determinations of the primordial He abundance have given significantly different results. We are attempting to identify some of the causes of these differences and propose observational solutions. Here we identify a systematic difference in how the data are interpreted (differences in corrections for the presence of neutral helium) and the importance of a systematic bias towards lower derived helium abundances (underestimating the presence of underlying stellar absorption).

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