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Phosphorus-rich stars

Thomas Masseron (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias)

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Dec 14, 2020
from 02:45 PM to 03:00 PM

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Almost all chemical elements have been made by nucleosynthetic reactions in various kind of stars and have been accumulated along our cosmic history. Among those elements, the origin of phosphorus is of extreme interest because it is known to be essential for life such as we know on Earth. However, current models of (Galactic) chemical evolution under-predict the phosphorus we observe in our Solar System. Here we report the discovery of 16 phosphorus-rich stars with unusual overabundances of O, Mg, Si, Al, and a s-process heavy elemental abundance pattern. Phosphorus-rich stars likely inherit their peculiar chemistry from another nearby stellar source but their intriguing chemical abundance pattern challenge the present stellar nucleosynthesis theoretical predictions. Specific effects such as rotation or advanced nucleosynthesis in convective-reactive regions in massive stars represent the most promising alternatives to explain the existence of phosphorus-rich stars. The phosphorus-rich stars progenitors may significantly contribute to the phosphorus present on Earth today.