The extent of mixing in stellar interiors: the open clusters Collinder 261 and Melotte 66

Research paper by Arnas Drazdauskas, Gražina Tautvaišienė, Sofia Randich, Angela Bragaglia, Šarūnas Mikolaitis, Rimvydas Janulis

Indexed on: 31 Mar '16Published on: 31 Mar '16Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics


Context: Determining carbon and nitrogen abundances in red giants provides useful diagnostics to test mixing processes in stellar atmospheres. Aims: Our main aim is to determine carbon-to-nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios for evolved giants in the open clusters Collinder 261 and Melotte 66 and to compare the results with predictions of theoretical models. Methods: High-resolution spectra were analysed using a differential model atmosphere method. Abundances of carbon were derived using the C_2 Swan (0,1) band head at 5635.5 A. The wavelength interval 7940-8130 A, which contains CN features, was analysed to determine nitrogen abundances and carbon isotope ratios. The oxygen abundances were determined from the [O_I] line at 6300 A. Results: The mean values of the elemental abundances in Collinder 261, as determined from seven stars, are: [C/Fe]=-0.23 +- 0.02 (s.d.), [N/Fe]=0.18 +- 0.09, [O/Fe]=-0.03 +- 0.07. The mean 12^C/13^C ratio is 11 +- 2, considering four red clump stars and 18 for one star above the clump. The mean C/N ratios are 1.60 +- 0.30 and 1.74, respectively. For the five stars in Melotte 66 we obtained: [C/Fe]=-0.21 +- 0.07 (s.d.), [N/Fe]=0.17 +- 0.07, [O/Fe]=0.16 +- 0.04. The 12^C/13^C and C/N ratios are 8 +- 2 and 1.67 +- 0.21, respectively. Conclusions: The 12^C/13^C and C/N ratios of stars in the investigated open clusters were compared with the ratios predicted by stellar evolution models. The mean values of 12^C/13^C ratios in Collinder 261 and Melotte 66 agree well with models of thermohaline-induced extra-mixing for the corresponding stellar turn-off masses of about 1.1 - 1.2 Msun. The mean C/N ratios are not decreased as much as predicted by the model in which the thermohaline- and rotation-induced extra-mixing act together.