Third dredge-up in low-mass stars: solving the large magellanic cloud carbon star mystery

Richard James Stancliffe, Robert George Izzard, Christopher A Tout

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46 Citations (Scopus)


A long standing problem with asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star models has been their inability to produce the low-luminosity carbon stars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC, respectively). Dredge-up must begin earlier and extend deeper. We find this for the first time in our models of LMC metallicity. Such features are not found in our models of SMC metallicity. The fully implicit and simultaneous stellar evolution code stars has been used to calculate the evolution of AGB stars with metallicities of Z= 0.008 and Z= 0.004, corresponding to the observed metallicities of the LMC and SMC, respectively. Third dredge-up occurs in stars of 1 M-circle dot and above and carbon stars were found for models between 1 M-circle dot and 3 M-circle dot. We use the detailed models as input physics for a population synthesis code and generate carbon star luminosity functions. We now find that we are able to reproduce the carbon star luminosity function of the LMC without any manipulation of our models. The SMC carbon star luminosity function still cannot be produced from our detailed models unless the minimum core mass for third dredge-up is reduced by 0.06 M-circle dot
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 5
Number of pages4
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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