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Nordita Astrophysics seminars

How important are metal-poor AGB stars as cosmic dust producers?

by Dr Lars Mattsson (Nordita)

122:026 ()


The efficiency of dust formation in oxygen-rich AGB stars should (in theory) be metallicity dependent since they are not producing their own raw material for dust production. Metal-poor carbon stars may not be very efficient dust producers either, because of more radiative heating of the grains forming in their atmospheres. We have just confirmed that inefficient dust and wind formation in simulations of metal-poor carbon stars is a real physical effect, albeit within the limitations of our simulations. Taken at face value, this implies that the amount of dust supplied by low-metallicity AGB stars to the build up of the cosmic dust component is clearly limited. Consequently, one may also ask how large a contribution AGB stars can make in general, when compared to recent observations of cosmic dust, which are suggesting major contributions from other sources?