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Title: On the necessity of composition-dependent low-temperature opacity in models of metal-poor asymptotic giant branch stars

The vital importance of composition-dependent low-temperature opacity in low-mass (M ≤ 3 M {sub ☉}) asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stellar models of metallicity Z ≥ 0.001 has recently been demonstrated. Its significance to more metal-poor, intermediate-mass (M ≥ 2.5 M {sub ☉}) models has yet to be investigated. We show that its inclusion in lower-metallicity models ([Fe/H] ≤–2) is essential and that there exists no threshold metallicity below which composition-dependent molecular opacity may be neglected. We find it to be crucial in all intermediate-mass models investigated ([Fe/H] ≤–2 and 2.5 ≤ M/M {sub ☉} ≤ 5), because of the evolution of the surface chemistry, including the orders of magnitude increase in the abundance of molecule-forming species. Its effect on these models mirrors that previously reported for higher-metallicity models—increase in radius, decrease in T {sub eff}, faster mass loss, shorter thermally pulsing AGB lifetime, reduced enrichment in third dredge-up products (by a factor of 3-10), and an increase in the mass limit for hot bottom burning. We show that the evolution of low-metallicity models with composition-dependent low-temperature opacity is relatively independent of initial metal abundance because its contribution to the opacity is far outweighed by changes resulting from dredge-up. Our resultsmore » imply a significant reduction in the expected number of nitrogen-enhanced metal-poor stars, which may help explain their observed paucity. We note that these findings are partially a product of the macrophysics adopted in our models, in particular, the Vassiliadis and Wood mass loss rate which is strongly dependent on radius.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Monash Centre for Astrophysics, School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University, Victoria 3800 (Australia)
  2. Department of Applied Physics, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, 08860 Barcelona (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22351496
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 784; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; ASYMPTOTIC SOLUTIONS; ENRICHMENT; GIANT STARS; INCLUSIONS; LIFETIME; MASS TRANSFER; METALLICITY; METALS; MOLECULES; OPACITY; PULSES; SIMULATION; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; STELLAR WINDS