We present new models for the evolution of stars with mass in the range 1Msun < M < 7.5Msun, followed from the pre-main-sequence through the asymptotic giant branch phase. The metallicity adopted is $Z=3*10^-4 (which, with an alpha-enhancement of +0.4, corresponds to [Fe/H]=-2). Dust formation is described by following the growth of dust grains of various types as the wind expands from the stellar surface. Models with mass M>3Msun experience Hot Bottom Burning, thus maintaining the surface C/O below unity. Unlike higher Z models, the scarcity of silicon available in the envelope prevents the formation of silicates in meaningful quantities, sufficient to trigger the acceleration of the wind via radiation pressure on the dust grains formed. No silicate formation occurs below a threshold metallicity of Z=10^-3. Low--mass stars, with M< 2.5Msun become carbon stars, forming solid carbon dust in their surroundings. The total dust mass formed depends on the uncertain extent of the inwards penetration of the convective envelope during the Third Dredge--Up episodes following the Thermal Pulses. Carbon grains have sizes 0.08 micron < a_C < 0.12 micron and the total amount of dust formed (increasing with the mass of the star) is M_C=(2-6)*10^-4Msun. Our results imply that AGB stars with Z=3*10^-4 can only contribute to carbon dust enrichment of the interstellar medium on relatively long timescales, > 300 Myr, comparable to the evolutionary time of a 3Msun star. At lower metallicities the scarcity of silicon available and the presence of Hot Bottom Burning even in M< 2Msun, prevents the formation of silicate and carbon grains. We extrapolate our conclusion to more metal--poor environments, and deduce that at Z < 10^-4 dust enrichment is mostly due to metal condensation in supernova ejecta.
|Titolo:||Dust formation in the winds of AGBs: the contribution at low metallicities|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore FIS/05 - Astronomia e Astrofisica|
|Parole Chiave:||astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.SR|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt732|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|