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The 13C Pocket in Low-Mass AGB Stars

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2013

O. Straniero*
Affiliation:
INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo, Via Mentore Maggini s.n.c., 64100 Teramo, Italy
S. Cristallo
Affiliation:
INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo, Via Mentore Maggini s.n.c., 64100 Teramo, Italy
R. Gallino
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Fisica Generale, Universitá di Torino, Via P. Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy
*
C Corresponding author. Email: straniero@oa-teramo.inaf.it
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Abstract

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It is well known that thermally pulsing Asymptotic Giant Branch stars with low mass play a relevant role in the chemical evolution. They have synthesized about 30% of the galactic carbon and provide an important contribution to the nucleosynthesis of heavy elements (A > 80). The relevant nucleosynthesis site is the He-rich intermediate zone (less than 10−2 M), where α(2α,γ)12C reactions and slow neutron captures on seed nuclei (essentially iron) take place. A key ingredient is the interplay between nuclear processes and convective mixing. It is the partial overlap of internal and external convective zones that allows the dredge-up of the material enriched in C and heavy elements. We review the progresses made in the last 50 years in the comprehension of the s process in AGB stars, with special attention to the identification of the main neutron sources and to the particular physical conditions allowing this important nucleosynthesis.

Type
Theory, Evolution and Models
Copyright
Copyright © Astronomical Society of Australia 2009

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