The role of asymptotic giant branch stars in galactic chemical evolution

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Abstract

The chemical evolution of the Universe is governed by the nucleosynthesis output from stars, which is determined primarily by the initial stellar mass. Stars less massive than about 8-10M⊙, depending on metallicity, experience recurrent mixing events on the giant branches that can significantly change the surface composition of the envelope, with observed enrichments in lithium, carbon, nitrogen, fluorine, and heavy elements synthesized by the slow neutron capture process (the s-process). It is during the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase of stellar evolution when the richest nucleosynthesis occurs. This phase is also characterized by intense mass loss, which releases the nucleosynthesis products into the interstellar medium. The stellar yields available for single stars with masses up to about 10M⊙ are reviewed, along with a broader discussion of the role that AGB stars play in the chemical evolution in galaxies and stellar systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemorie della Società Astronomica Italiana
EditorsP Ventura, D A García-Hernández, M Groenewegen, J Th van Loon
Place of PublicationItaly
PublisherItalian Astronomical Society (SAIt)
Pages229-236
Number of pages8
Volume87
Edition2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 AGB Stars: A Key Ingredient in the Understanding and Interpretation of Stellar Populations, European Week of Astronomy and Space Science - La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Duration: 22 Jun 201526 Jun 2015

Publication series

NameMemorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana - Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society
ISSN (Print)1824-016X

Conference

Conference2015 AGB Stars: A Key Ingredient in the Understanding and Interpretation of Stellar Populations, European Week of Astronomy and Space Science
CountrySpain
CityLa Laguna, Tenerife
Period22/06/1526/06/15

Keywords

  • AGB
  • Galaxy: Abundances
  • ISM: Abundances
  • Stars: Abundances
  • Stars: AGB and post
  • Stars: population II

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