The Origin Of Carbon in the Universe

Dr. Timothy C. Beers
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Michigan State University

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Evidence is presented, based on recent large surveys for extremely metal-deficient stars in the halo of the Galaxy, that stars in the earliest epochs of star formation may have been prodigious producers of carbon. Although details of the production mechanisms are not fully understood, it has become clear that the identification of enhanced carbon in extremely metal-poor stars is a signpost of interesting astrophysical phenomena. Among the most exciting cases, carbon enhancement is associated with stars showing r-process-element enhancements, s-process-element enhancements, neutron-capture-element deficiencies, and, for now, with the lowest [Fe/H] star yet discovered, at [Fe/H] = -5.3.

Thursday, October 17, 2002
4:00 P.M. in Sc 234
Refreshments at 3:30 in Sc 103