Letter to the Editor
Carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars and thermohaline mixing
Institute of Astronomy, The Observatories, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DS, UK e-mail: email@example.com
2 Sterrekundig Instituut Utrecht, Postbus 80000, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands e-mail: [E.Glebbeek;R.G.Izzard;O.R.Pols]@phys.uu.nl
Accepted: 31 January 2007
One possible scenario for the formation of carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars is the accretion of carbon-rich material from a binary companion which may no longer visible. It is generally assumed that the accreted material remains on the surface of the star and does not mix with the interior until first dredge-up. However, thermohaline mixing should mix the accreted material with the original stellar material as it has a higher mean molecular weight. We investigate the effect that this has on the surface abundances by modelling a binary system of metallicity with a 2 primary star and a 0.74 secondary star in an initial orbit of 4000 days. The accretion of material from the wind of the primary leads to the formation of a carbon-rich secondary. We find that the accreted material mixes fairly rapidly throughout 90% of the star, with important consequences for the surface composition. Models with thermohaline mixing predict very different surface abundances after first dredge-up compared to canonical models of stellar evolution.
Key words: stars: evolution / stars: binaries: general / stars: carbon / stars: abundances
© ESO, 2007