Journal Article

Hot bottom burning in the envelope of super asymptotic giant branch stars

P. Ventura and F. D'Antona

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 410, issue 4, pages 2760-2766
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17651.x
Hot bottom burning in the envelope of super asymptotic giant branch stars

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We investigate the physical and chemical evolution of Population II stars with initial masses in the range 6.5–8 M, which undergo an off-centre carbon ignition under partially degenerate conditions, followed by a series of thermal pulses, and supported energetically by a CNO burning shell, above an O–Ne degenerate core. In agreement with the results by other research groups, we find that the O–Ne core is formed via the formation of a convective flame that proceeds to the centre of the star. The evolution, which follows, is strongly determined by the description of the mass-loss mechanism. Use of the traditional formalism with the superwind phase favours a long evolution with many thermal pulses, and the achievement of an advanced nucleosynthesis, due to the large temperatures reached by the bottom of the external mantle. Use of a mass-loss recipe with a strong dependence on the luminosity favours an early consumption of the stellar envelope, so that the extent of the nucleosynthesis, and thus the chemical composition of the ejecta, is less extreme. The implications for the multiple populations in globular clusters are discussed. If the ‘extreme’ populations present in the most massive clusters are a result of direct formation from the super asymptotic giant branch (SAGB) ejecta, their abundances may constitute a powerful way of calibrating the mass-loss rate of this phase. This calibration will also provide information on the fraction of SAGBs exploding as single e-capture supernovae, leaving a neutron star remnant in the cluster.

Keywords: stars: abundances; stars: AGB and post-AGB

Journal Article.  5299 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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