Journal Article

C, N and O abundances in red clump stars of the Milky Way

G. Tautvaišienė, B. Edvardsson, E. Puzeras, G. Barisevičius and I. Ilyin

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 409, issue 3, pages 1213-1219
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
C, N and O abundances in red clump stars of the Milky Way

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The Hipparcos orbiting observatory has revealed a large number of helium-core-burning ‘clump’ stars in the Galactic field. These low-mass stars exhibit signatures of extra mixing processes that require modelling beyond the first dredge-up of standard models. The 12C/13C ratio is the most robust diagnostic of deep mixing because it is insensitive to the adopted stellar parameters. In this paper we present 12C/13C determinations in a sample of 34 Galactic clump stars as well as abundances of nitrogen, carbon and oxygen. Abundances of carbon were studied using the C2 Swan (0,1) band head at 5635.5 Å. The wavelength interval 7980–8130 Å with strong CN features was analysed in order to determine nitrogen abundances and 12C/13C isotope ratios. The oxygen abundances were determined from the [O i] line at 6300 Å. Compared with the Sun and dwarf stars of the Galactic disc, mean abundances in the investigated clump stars suggest that carbon is depleted by about 0.2 dex, nitrogen is enhanced by 0.2 dex and oxygen is close to abundances in dwarfs. Comparisons to evolutionary models show that the stars fall into two groups: one is of first ascent giants with carbon isotope ratios altered according to the first dredge-up prediction and the other is of helium-core-burning stars with carbon isotope ratios altered by extra mixing. The stars investigated fall to these groups in approximately equal numbers.

Keywords: stars: abundances; stars: evolution; stars: horizontal branch

Journal Article.  3619 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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