The century-old R-star mystery

Robert G. Izzard, C. Simon Jeffery, John Lattanzio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


The R stars are carbon-rich K-type giants. For more than a century their origin has remained a mystery. The warmest of them, the early-R stars, have luminosities similar to core helium burning stars yet canonical stellar evolution theory suggests they should not be carbon rich. The early-R stars are chemically peculiar, being enhanced in 12C., 13C and 14N but not in s-process elements, and are all single stars. Binary mergers have been suggested as the evolutionary channel which leads to the early-R stars: we test this scenario with a state-of-the-art binary population synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnsolved Problems in Stellar Physics - A Conference in Honour of Douglas Gough
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
EventConference on Unsolved Problems in Stellar Physics - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Jul 20076 Jul 2007

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


ConferenceConference on Unsolved Problems in Stellar Physics
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Binary stars
  • Carbon stars
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • R stars
  • Red clum
  • Stellar mergers

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