Quantitative analysis of carbon isotopic ratios in carbon stars: I. 62 N-type and 15 SC-type carbon stars

Keiichi Ohnaka, Takashi Tsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a result of quantitative analysis of 12C/13C ratios in 62 N-type and 15 SC-type carbon stars. By the use of CCD as a detector we can obtain spectra of resolution ∼ 20,000 with enough signal-to-noise ratios for a large number of carbon stars, for which 12C/13C ratios have not yet been derived. Carbon isotopic ratios are determined from lines of the CN red system around 8000 Å, based on the iso-intensity method and line-blanketed model atmospheres. The average of 12C/13C ratios in 62 N-type carbon stars is found to be 27 ± 11 (standard deviation). The majority of the N-type carbon stars studied (about 85%) are found to have 12C/13C ratios less than 40, and the number of stars which have 12C/13C ratios larger than 40 is found to be relatively small. This result shows a marked contrast to some of the previous results that have shown the opposite distribution, namely, 12C/13C ratios mostly larger than 40 in N-type carbon stars. The average of 12C/13C ratios in 15 SC-type carbon stars is found to be 22 ± 14 (standard deviation). Most of the SC-type carbon stars studied are found to have 12C/13C ratios larger than 10, while only three of them turn out to be 13C-rich. This is in contrast with the earlier classification based on low resolution spectra which classified them as J-type, that is, 13C-rich. The earlier temperature scale which classified SC-type carbon stars as the latest (C8 - 9) based on their strong Na ID lines can not be necessarily justified. The strong Na I D lines of SC stars should be attributed to the peculiar atmospheric structure due to C/O ratios very near to unity. The resulting 12C/13C ratios are partly consistent with the scenario in which M giants evolve through SC-type to N-type carbon stars, as 12C produced during the helium shell flash is added to the envelope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-951
Number of pages19
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume310
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB
  • Stars: carbon
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: fundamental parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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