Volume 640, August 2020
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||29 July 2020|
Letter to the Editor
The Gaia-ESO Survey: Galactic evolution of lithium at high metallicity⋆
INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi, 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 European Southern Observatory, Karl Schwarzschild Strasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 Astrophysics Group, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
4 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio, 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
5 INAF-Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio, Via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
6 Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius University, Sauletekio av. 3, 10257 Vilnius, Lithuania
7 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
8 Lund Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics, Box 43, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
9 Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
10 Instituto de Física y Astronomía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso, Av. Gran Bretaña 1111, 5030 Casilla, Valparaíso, Chile
11 Núcleo Milenio de Formación Planetaria – NPF, Universidad de Valparaíso, Av. Gran Bretaña 1111, Valparaíso, Chile
12 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
Accepted: 30 June 2020
Context. Reconstructing the Galactic evolution of lithium (Li) is the main tool used to constrain the source(s) of Li enrichment in the Galaxy. Recent results have suggested a decline in Li at supersolar metallicities, which may indicate reduced production.
Aims. We exploit the unique characteristics of the Gaia-ESO Survey open star cluster sample to further investigate this issue and to better constrain the evolution of Li at high metallicity.
Methods. We trace the upper envelope of Li abundance versus metallicity evolution using 18 clusters and considering members that should not have suffered any Li depletion.
Results. At variance with previous claims, we do not find any evidence of a Li decrease at high metallicity. The most metal-rich clusters in the sample ([Fe/H] = ∼0.3) actually show the highest Li abundances, with A(Li) > 3.4. Our results clearly show that previous findings, which were based on field stars, were affected by selection effects. The metal-rich population in the solar neighbourhood is composed of relatively old and cool stars that have already undergone some Li depletion; hence, their measured Li does not represent the initial interstellar medium abundance, but a lower limit to it.
Key words: stars: abundances / Galaxy: abundances / Galaxy: evolution / open clusters and associations: general
© ESO 2020
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