Evolutionary implications of the new triple-α nuclear reaction rate for low mass stars
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2 Canada e-mail: email@example.com
2 Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 17 September 2009
Context. Ogata et al. (2009, Progr. Theor. Phys., 122, 1055) presented a theoretical determination of the 4He12C, or triple-α, nuclear reaction rate. Their rate differs from the NACRE rate by many orders of magnitude at temperatures relevant for low mass stars.
Aims. We explore the evolutionary implications of adopting the OKK triple-α reaction rate in low mass stars and compare the results with those obtained using the NACRE rate.
Methods. The triple-α reaction rates are compared by following the evolution of stellar models at 1 and 1.5 with and .
Results. Results show that the OKK rate has severe consequences for the late stages of stellar evolution in low mass stars. Most notable is the shortening-or disappearance-of the red giant phase.
Conclusions. The OKK triple-α reaction rate is incompatible with observations of extended red giant branches and He burning stars in old stellar systems.
Key words: nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances / stars: evolution / stars: Hertsprung-Russell (HR) and C-M diagrams
© ESO, 2009