Lithium-rich Red Giants

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics have discovered Li-rich red giants and have associated Li-enhancement with red clump giants.

Li-rich Red Giants

Apart from helium and hydrogen, lithium is one of the 3 primordial elements produced during the big bang nucleosynthesis. Very young stars and interstellar medium contains 4 times more lithium than the primordial value. Stars are being considered as one of the sources of lithium enhancement- especially the red giants. The scientists at IIA have discovered hundreds of such stars. However, these lithium rich red giants account only for 1 in 100 stars in the galaxy.

Red Clump

The scientists at IIA have shown for the first time that lithium enhancement is associated only with the red clump stars. Red clump stars are red giants which burn helium at their centres. They are observed in galactic open clusters and globular clusters.

Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

Big bang nucleosynthesis is the process by which the atomic nuclei were formed in the early stages of the formation of the universe. It is believed to have occurred 10 to 20 seconds after the Big Bang. The process does not include the production of protium nuclei (lightest isotope of hydrogen).

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