Publication Abstracts

Ezer and Cameron 1971

Ezer, D., and A.G.W. Cameron, 1971: The evolution of hydrogen-helium stars. Astrophys. Space Sci., 14, 399-421, doi:10.1007/BF00653327.

According to the work of Truran and Cameron, and of others, on the chemical evolution of the Galaxy, the first generation of stars in the Galaxy contained principally massive objects. If big-bang nucleosynthesis was responsible for the formation of helium, the first generation of stars would contain about 80% hydrogen and 20% helium, to be consistent with the approximately 22% helium found in recent stellar evolutionary studies of the Sun. The present investigation has followed the pre-main sequence evolution and the main sequence evolution of stars of 5, 10, 20, 30, 100, and 200 M. Normal stars in this entire mass range normally convert hydrogen into helium by the CN-cycle on the main sequence. the present hydrogen-helium stars of 5 and 10 M must reach higher central temperatures in order to convert hydrogen to helium by the proton-proton chains. Consequently, the mean densities in the stars are greater, and the surface temperatures are higher than in normal stars. In the stars of 20 M and larger, the proton-proton chains do not succed in supplying the necessary luminosity of the stars by the time the contraction has produced a central temperature near 108K. At that point triple-alpha reactions generate small amounts of C12, which then acts as a catalyst in the CN-cycle, the rate of which is then limited by the beta-decays occurring within the cycle. During the evolution of these more massive stars, the central temperature remains in the vicinity of 108 K, and the surface temperature on the main sequence approaches 105 K. The star of 200 M becomes unstable against surface mass loss through radiation pressure in the later stages of its main sequence evolution, and these mass loss effects were not followed. Young galaxies containing these massive stars will have a very high luminosity, but if they have formed at one-tenth the present age of the universe or later, then the light from them will mainly reside in the visible or ultraviolet, rather than in the infrared as has been suggested by Partridge and Peebles.