Globular cluster abundances: The role of asymptotic giant branch stars

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Research


One of the more popular theories to account for the abundance anomalies in globular cluster stars is the 'self-pollution scenario,' where the polluters were a previous generation of intermediate-mass asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. This idea has proved attractive because: (i) the hot-bottom burning experienced by these objects qualitatively provides an ideal proton-capture environment to produce helium and convert C and O to N, Ne to Na and Mg to Al, and (ii) the slow winds from these stars allow their retention by the cluster's gravitational potential. New stellar yields from low-metallicity AGB models are presented and compared to abundances derived in globular clusters. We also discuss external pollution and inhomogeneous-pollution models that use AGB stars as polluters. Current models of AGB stars cannot match all observational features of globular cluster stars. However, stellar modelling uncertainties are considerable and suggest AGB stars should not be ruled out just yet.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStar clusters: basic galactic building blocks throughout time and space
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)17439213
ISSN (Electronic)17439221


  • Globular clusters: general
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB

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