Volume 639, July 2020
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||03 July 2020|
Letter to the Editor
The Gaia-ESO Survey: an extremely Li-rich giant in globular cluster NGC 1261⋆
INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 ASI Science Data Center, Via del Politecnico SNC, 00133 Rome, Italy
3 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Via Gobetti 93/2, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4 INAF – Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
5 Department of Astronomy, University of Geneva, Chemin des Maillettes 51, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
6 IRAP, UMR 5277, CNRS and Université de Toulouse, 14 Av. E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
7 Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
8 The Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China
9 Institut UTINAM, CNRS UMR 6213, Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté, OSU THETA Franche-Comté-Bourgogne, Observatoire de Besançon, BP 1615, 25010 Besançon Cedex, France
10 Astronomical Observatory, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius University, Sauletekio av. 3, 10257 Vilnius, Lithuania
11 Lund Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics, Box 43, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
12 Observational Astrophysics, Division of Astronomy and Space Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
13 Instituto de Física y Astronomía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso, Av. Gran Bretaña 1111, 5030 Casilla, Valparaíso, Chile
14 Núcleo Milenio de Formación Planetaria – NPF, Universidad de Valparaíso, Av. Gran Bretaña 1111, Valparaíso, Chile
15 Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
16 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
Accepted: 5 June 2020
Lithium-rich stars in globular clusters are rare. Only 14 have been found so far, in different evolutionary phases from dwarfs to giants. Different mechanisms have been proposed to explain this enhancement, but it is still an open problem. Using spectra collected within the Gaia-ESO Survey, obtained with the GIRAFFE spectrograph at the ESO Very Large Telescope, we present the discovery of the first Li-rich star in the cluster NGC 1261, the second star known in the red giant branch bump phase. The star shows an extreme Li overabundance of A(Li)LTE = 3.92 ± 0.14, corresponding to A(Li)NLTE = 3.40 dex. We propose that the Li enhancement is caused by fresh Li production through an extra mixing process (sometimes referred to as cool bottom burning). Alternatively, it could be a pre-existing Li overabundance caused by mass-transfer from a red giant star; this mechanism does not enhance the barium abundance and thus we observe low barium. To unambiguously explain the Li enhancement in globular cluster stars, however, a reliable determination of the abundance of key species like Be, 6Li, 12C/13C, and several s-process elements is required, as well as detailed modelling of chromospheric activity indicators.
Key words: surveys / techniques: spectroscopic / stars: chemically peculiar / globular clusters: individual: NGC 1261
© ESO 2020
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