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The carbon and related stars
McClure, R. D.
AA(Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Victoria, Canada)
Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (ISSN 0035-872X), vol. 79, Dec. 1985, p. 277-293.
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Carbon Stars, Peculiar Stars, Red Giant Stars, Stellar Evolution, Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars, Binary Stars, Light Curve, Radial Velocity, Stellar Cores, Stellar Luminosity
Bibliographic Code:


The evolutionary status of the carbon stars as well as other related peculiar red giants is discussed. The carbon-rich stars can be conveniently relegated to two classes in terms of luminosity. The brighter peculiar red giatns such as the N-type carbon stars, and the S stars have been explained in terms of mixing of carbon and s-process elements to the surface, that were produced in helium-shell flashing during evolution on the asymptotic giant branch. The fainter peculiar red giants, such as the hot R stars, the Ba II stars and the CH stars are not bright enough to explain in this way. Recent radial-velocity measurements at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory have shown, however, that the Ba II, and CH stars are probably all spectroscopic binary systems. It appears possible that these too can be explained by the helium-shell flashing mechanism if mass transfer from an originally more massive companion has taken place. Similar observations of R stars indicate that this class has a normal frequency of spectroscopic binaries for a sample of giant stars. The excess carbon in these stars will have to be explained, perhaps, by mixing of material that has undergone the helium core flash at the tip of the first ascent giant branch.

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