Carbon-rich stars steal heavy elements from their low mass companions

What is the news?

A team of Indian scientists has achieved significant advancement in revealing the mystery behind the presence of a much higher fraction of elements heavier than iron in Carbon Enhanced Metal-Poor (CEMP) stars.

What are Carbon Enhanced Metal-Poor (CEMP) Stars?

CEMP Stars are primarily characterized by diverse heavy elements and abundance patterns.They were formed from the ejected material of the first stars that formed after the Big Bang.

These stars are primarily classified into four groups, based on which groups of heavy elements are more abundant. These are mostly dwarf stars, subgiant stars or giant stars.

At the evolutionary stages, these Stars cannot produce elements heavier than iron. However, the surface chemical composition of these stars exhibit abundances of heavy elements which are about 100 to 1000 times higher than that of the Sun.

What is the study conducted by Indian Scientists?

The study was conducted to understand the presence of these much higher fraction of elements heavier than iron in carbon-rich stars.

The team analyzed the stars using Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle and SUBARU Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

Findings: The team have traced the presence of heavier elements to the origin of the low mass companions of these stars from which the materials have been stolen.

What is the significance of this study?

Probing into the formation of these Carbon Enhanced Metal-Poor (CEMP) Stars can help trace the origin and evolution of the elements in the Universe.

Source: This post is based on the article Carbon-rich stars steal heavy elements from their low mass companionspublished in PIB on 2nd Jan 2021.

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