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Is $^6$Li in metal-poor halo stars produced in situ by solar-like flares ?

Abstract : The high 6-Li abundances recently measured in metal-poor halo stars are far above the value predicted by Big Bang nucleosynthesis. They cannot be explained by galactic cosmic-ray interactions in the interstellar medium either. Various pre-galactic sources of 6-Li have been proposed in the literature. We study the possibility that the observed 6-Li was produced by repeated solar-like flares on the main sequence of these low-metallicity stars. The time-dependent flaring activity of these objects is estimated from the observed evolution of rotation-induced activity in Pop I dwarf stars. As in solar flares, 6-Li could be mainly created in interactions of flare-accelerated 3-He with stellar atmospheric 4-He, via the reaction 4-He(3-He,p)6-Li. Stellar dilution and destruction of flare-produced 6-Li are evaluated from the evolutionary models of metal-poor stars developed by Richard and co-workers. Stellar depletion should be less important for 6-Li atoms synthesized in flares than for those of protostellar origin. Theoretical frequency distributions of 6-Li/7-Li ratios are calculated using a Monte-Carlo method and compared with the observations. Excellent agreement is found with the measured 6-Li/7-Li distribution, when taking into account the contribution of protostellar 6-Li originating from galactic cosmic-ray nucleosynthesis. We propose as an observational test of the model to seek for a positive correlation between 6-Li/7-Li and stellar rotation velocity. We also show that the amounts of 7-Li, Be and B produced in flares of metal-poor halo stars are negligible as compared with the measured abundances of these species. 6-Li in low-metallicity stars may be a unique evidence of the nuclear processes occuring in stellar flares.
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Contributor : Dominique Girod <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 3:45:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 4:17:24 PM

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V. Tatischeff, J. -P. Thibaud. Is $^6$Li in metal-poor halo stars produced in situ by solar-like flares ?. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2007, 469, pp.265-274. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361:20066635⟩. ⟨in2p3-00126673⟩



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