Publication Abstracts

Stothers 1969

Stothers, R., 1969: Red supergiants and neutrino emission. Astrophys. J., 155, 935-956, doi:10.1086/149923.

Data on the supergiants in all early-type clusters and associations of the Galaxy and Magellanic Clouds which contain known red-supergiant members have been collected and analyzed in the light of current theory. No major differences seem to exist between the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds in this study.

The composite bolometric H-R diagram for the "M associations" shows (1) many blue supergiants (09.5-AS) mostly in the range B0-B3 with Mbol ∼ -6 to -10; (2) a roughly equal number of red supergiants (M0-M4.5) mostly in the range M0-M2, but the brightest being latest in spectral type, with Mbol ∼ -5 to -8 and no correlation with luminosity class; and (3) a thin scatter of yellow supergiants (F, G, and K).

Dating of the clusters from the luminosities of their blue supergiants indicates decreasing and increasing numbers of blue and red supergiants, respectively, with age. Luminosity functions show that the blueired ratio is >5 at high masses (15-60 M) and ∼1 at lower masses (10-15 M). While a one-to-one correspondence exists between luminosity and mass for the core helium-burning blue supergiants, it is lacking for the red supergiants because of a "funneling effect" (in analogy with the K giants). The red supergiants are shown theoretically to be in two basically different evolutionary phases: (1) helium core contraction and early core helium burning and (2) carbon core contraction and later phases The first case explains the blue/red ratio at low masses. The second case refers to high masses and de ends on the existence of the hypothetical photoneutrino process; the predicted blueired ratio is <17 and <1.7 with and without the neutrino process, respectively.

On the basis of the large blueired ratio among the most massive supergiants and the independent theoretical and observational evidence that early core helium burning occurs in the red-supergiant region, it is concluded that some effect must take massive stars rapidly through, or away from, the red-supergiant region after core helium burning. Mixing and mass loss are shown to be inadequate mechanisms. If photoneutrino losses are permitted to occur, the stars do evolve rapidly as red supergiants, as required by the observations. One might accept this as supporting evidence for the existence of a direct electronneutrino weak interaction in nature.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Stothers, R.},
  title={Red supergiants and neutrino emission},
  journal={Astrophys. J.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - st09410x
AU  - Stothers, R.
PY  - 1969
TI  - Red supergiants and neutrino emission
JA  - Astrophys. J.
VL  - 155
SP  - 935
EP  - 956
DO  - 10.1086/149923
ER  -

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