513 research outputs found

    Partial mixing and the formation of 13C pockets in AGB stars: effects on the s-process elements

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    The production of the elements heavier than iron via slow neutron captures (the s process) is a main feature of the contribution of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars of low mass (< 5 Msun) to the chemistry of the cosmos. However, our understanding of the main neutron source, the 13C(alpha,n)16O reaction, is still incomplete. It is commonly assumed that in AGB stars mixing beyond convective borders drives the formation of 13C pockets. However, there is no agreement on the nature of such mixing and free parameters are present. By means of a parametric model we investigate the impact of different mixing functions on the final s-process abundances in low-mass AGB models. Typically, changing the shape of the mixing function or the mass extent of the region affected by the mixing produce the same results. Variations in the relative abundance distribution of the three s-process peaks (Sr, Ba, and Pb) are generally within +/-0.2 dex, similar to the observational error bars. We conclude that other stellar uncertainties - the effect of rotation and of overshoot into the C-O core - play a more important role than the details of the mixing function. The exception is at low metallicity, where the Pb abundance is significantly affected. In relation to the composition observed in stardust SiC grains from AGB stars, the models are relatively close to the data only when assuming the most extreme variation in the mixing profile.Comment: 17 pages, 8 figures, 6 tables, accepted for publications on Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Societ

    The Chemical Evolution of Helium in Globular Clusters: Implications for the Self-Pollution Scenario

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    We investigate the suggestion that there are stellar populations in some globular clusters with enhanced helium (Y from 0.28 to 0.40) compared to the primordial value. We assume that a previous generation of massive Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars have polluted the cluster. Two independent sets of AGB yields are used to follow the evolution of helium and CNO using a Salpeter initial mass function (IMF) and two top-heavy IMFs. In no case are we able to produce the postulated large Y ~ 0.35 without violating the observational constraint that the CNO content is nearly constant.Comment: accepted for publication in Ap

    Magnetohydrodynamics of Cloud Collisions in a Multi-phase Interstellar Medium

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    We extend previous studies of the physics of interstellar cloud collisions by beginning investigation of the role of magnetic fields through 2D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) numerical simulations. We study head-on collisions between equal mass, mildly supersonic diffuse clouds. We include a moderate magnetic field and two limiting field geometries, with the field lines parallel (aligned) and perpendicular (transverse) to the colliding cloud motion. We explore both adiabatic and radiative cases, as well as symmetric and asymmetric ones. We also compute collisions between clouds evolved through prior motion in the intercloud medium and compare with unevolved cases. We find that: In the (i) aligned case, adiabatic collisions, like their HD counterparts, are very disruptive, independent of the cloud symmetry. However, when radiative processes are taken into account, partial coalescence takes place even in the asymmetric case, unlike the HD calculations. In the (ii) transverse case, collisions between initially adjacent unevolved clouds are almost unaffected by magnetic fields. However, the interaction with the magnetized intercloud gas during the pre-collision evolution produces a region of very high magnetic energy in front of the cloud. In collisions between evolved clouds with transverse field geometry, this region acts like a ``bumper'', preventing direct contact between the clouds, and eventually reverses their motion. The ``elasticity'', defined as the ratio of the final to the initial kinetic energy of each cloud, is about 0.5-0.6 in the cases we considered. This behavior is found both in adiabatic and radiative cases.Comment: 40 pages in AAS LaTeX v4.0, 13 figures (in degraded jpeg format). Full resolution images as well as mpeg animations are available at http://www.msi.umn.edu:80/Projects/twj/mhd-cc/ . Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    MONTAGE: AGB nucleosynthesis with full s-process calculations

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    We present MONTAGE, a post-processing nucleosynthesis code that combines a traditional network for isotopes lighter than calcium with a rapid algorithm for calculating the s-process nucleosynthesis of the heavier isotopes. The separation of those parts of the network where only neutron-capture and beta-decay reactions are significant provides a substantial advantage in computational efficiency. We present the yields for a complete set of s-process isotopes for a 3 Mo, Z = 0.02 stellar model, as a demonstration of the utility of the approach. Future work will include a large grid of models suitable for use in calculations of Galactic chemical evolution.Comment: 9 pages, 4 figures. Accepted by PAS

    Evolution and nucleosynthesis of helium-rich asymptotic giant branch models

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    There is now strong evidence that some stars have been born with He mass fractions as high as Y0.40Y \approx 0.40 (e.g., in ω\omega Centauri). However, the advanced evolution, chemical yields, and final fates of He-rich stars are largely unexplored. We investigate the consequences of He-enhancement on the evolution and nucleosynthesis of intermediate-mass asymptotic giant branch (AGB) models of 3, 4, 5, and 6 M_\odot with a metallicity of Z=0.0006Z = 0.0006 ([Fe/H] 1.4\approx -1.4). We compare models with He-enhanced compositions (Y=0.30,0.35,0.40Y=0.30, 0.35, 0.40) to those with primordial He (Y=0.24Y=0.24). We find that the minimum initial mass for C burning and super-AGB stars with CO(Ne) or ONe cores decreases from above our highest mass of 6 M_\odot to \sim 4-5 M_\odot with Y=0.40Y=0.40. We also model the production of trans-Fe elements via the slow neutron-capture process (s-process). He-enhancement substantially reduces the third dredge-up efficiency and the stellar yields of s-process elements (e.g., 90% less Ba for 6 M_\odot, Y=0.40Y=0.40). An exception occurs for 3 M_\odot, where the near-doubling in the number of thermal pulses with Y=0.40Y=0.40 leads to \sim 50% higher yields of Ba-peak elements and Pb if the 13^{13}C neutron source is included. However, the thinner intershell and increased temperatures at the base of the convective envelope with Y=0.40Y=0.40 probably inhibit the 13^{13}C neutron source at this mass. Future chemical evolution models with our yields might explain the evolution of s-process elements among He-rich stars in ω\omega Centauri.Comment: 21 pages, 16 figures, accepted for publication by MNRAS. Stellar yields included as online data table