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HV2112, a Thorne–Żytkow object or a super asymptotic giant branch star

Tout, Christopher A., Żytkow, Anna N., Church, Ross P., Lau, Herbert H. B., Doherty, Carolyn L. and Izzard, Robert (2014) HV2112, a Thorne–Żytkow object or a super asymptotic giant branch star Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 445 (1). L36-L40.

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The very bright red star HV2112 in the Small Magellanic Cloud could be a massive Thorne–Żytkow object (TŻO), a supergiant-like star with a degenerate neutron core. With a luminosity of over 105 L⊙, it could also be a super asymptotic giant branch (SAGB) star, a star with an oxygen/neon core supported by electron degeneracy and undergoing thermal pulses with third dredge up. Both TŻOs and SAGB stars are expected to be rare. Abundances of heavy elements in HV2112's atmosphere, as observed to date, do not allow us to distinguish between the two possibilities based on the latest models. Molybdenum and rubidium can be enhanced by both the irp-process in a TŻO or by the s-process in SAGB stars. Lithium can be generated by hot bottom burning at the base of the convective envelope in either. HV2112's enhanced calcium could thus be the key determinant. Neither SAGB stars nor TŻOs are known to be able to synthesize their own calcium but it may be possible to produce it in the final stages of the process that forms a TŻO, when the degenerate electron core of a giant star is tidally disrupted by a neutron star. Hence, it is more likely, on a fine balance, that HV2112 is indeed a genuine TŻO.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Physics
Authors :
Tout, Christopher A.
Żytkow, Anna N.
Church, Ross P.
Lau, Herbert H. B.
Doherty, Carolyn L.
Date : 21 November 2014
DOI : 10.1093/mnrasl/slu131
Depositing User : Karen Garland
Date Deposited : 04 Oct 2018 15:12
Last Modified : 04 Oct 2018 15:12

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