Journal Article

The role of lithium production in massive AGB and super-AGB stars for the understanding of multiple populations in globular clusters

P. Ventura and F. D'Antona

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 1, pages L72-L76
Published in print February 2010 |
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1745-3933 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3933.2010.00805.x

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Abstract

Lithium is made up in the envelopes of massive asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars through the process of Hot Bottom Burning. In globular clusters, this processing is one possible source of the hot-CNO burning whose nuclear products are then ejected into the intracluster medium and take part in the formation of a second stellar generation, explaining the peculiar distribution of chemical elements among the cluster stars. We discuss the lithium yields from AGB stars in the mass range 3 to ∼6.3 M, and from super-AGB stars of masses in the range 6.5–9 M for metallicity Z= 10−3. The qualitative behaviour of these yields is discussed in terms of the physical structure of the different masses. Although many uncertainties affect the other yields of these stars (e.g. O, Na and Mg), even larger uncertainties affect the lithium yield, as it depends dramatically on the adopted description of mass-loss. When we adopt our standard mass-loss formulation, very large yields are obtained especially for the super-AGB stars, and we discuss their possible role on the lithium abundance of second generation stars in globular clusters.

Keywords: stars: abundances; stars: AGB and post-AGB; globular clusters: general

Journal Article.  3719 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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