Abundance analysis of HE 2148-1247, a star with extremely enhanced neutron capture elements

Judith G. Cohen, Norbert Christlieb, Y. Z. Qian, G. J. Wasserburg

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107 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abundances for 27 elements in the very metal-poor dwarf star HE 2148-1247 are presented, including many of the neutron capture elements. We establish that HE 2148-1247 is a very highly s-process-enhanced star with anomalously high Eu as well, Eu/H ∼ half-solar, demonstrating the large addition of heavy nuclei at [Fe/H] = -2.3 dex. Ba and La are enhanced by a somewhat larger factor and reach the solar abundance, while Pb significantly exceeds it, thus demonstrating the addition of substantial s-process material. Ba/Eu is 10 times the solar r-process ratio but much less than that of the s-process, indicating a substantial r-process addition as well. C and N are also very highly enhanced. We have found that HE 2148-1247 is a radial velocity variable; it is probably a small-amplitude long-period binary. The C, N, and the s-process element enhancements were thus presumably produced through mass transfer from a former asymptotic giant branch (AGB) binary companion. The large enhancement of heavy r-nuclides also requires an additional source as this is far above any inventory in the interstellar medium at such low [Fe/H]. We consider that the s-process material was added by mass transfer of a more massive companion during its thermally pulsating AGB phase and ending up as a white dwarf. We further hypothesize that accretion onto the white dwarf from the envelope of the star caused accretion-induced collapse of the white dwarf, forming a neutron star, which then produced heavy r-nuclides and again contaminated its companion. This mechanism in a binary system can thus enhance the envelope of the lower mass star in s- and r-process material sequentially. Through analysis of the neutron capture element abundances taken from the literature for a large sample of very metal-poor stars, we demonstrate, as exemplified by HE 2148-1247, that mass transfer in a suitable binary can be very efficient in enhancing the heavy elements in a star; it appears to be capable of enhancing the s-process elements in very metal-poor stars to near the solar abundance but not substantially above it. The yield of Pb relative to Ba appears to vary among very metal-poor stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1082-1098
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume588
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - May 10 2003

Keywords

  • Stars: Population II
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: chemically peculiar
  • Stars: evolution

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