Volume 447, Number 2, February IV 2006
|Page(s)||L21 - L24|
|Published online||07 February 2006|
Letter to the Editor
VLT/UVES constraints on the carbon isotope ratio C/C at z = 1.15 toward the quasar HE 0515–4414
Department of Theoretical Astrophysics, Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, 194021 St. Petersburg, Russia e-mail: email@example.com
2 Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via G. B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy
3 Observatoire de Paris 61, avenue de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
4 Sobolev Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg State University, 198504 St. Petersburg, Russia
Accepted: 4 January 2006
Context. Aims.We analyzed the lines associated with the damped Lyα system observed at = 1.15 in the spectrum of HE 0515–4414 to derive the 12C/13C ratio. Methods. The spectrum was obtained by means of the UV-Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). Results.The obtained lower limit 12C/13C (2σ C.L.) shows for the first time that the abundance of 13C in the extragalactic intervening clouds is very low. This rules out a significant contribution from intermediate-mass stars to the chemical evolution of matter sampled by this line of sight. The estimated low amount of 13C is in agreement with low abundances of nitrogen observed in damped Lyα systems – the element produced in the same nuclear cycles and from about the same stars as 13C. Conclusions.
© ESO, 2006
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