Nitrogen depletion in field red giants: mixing during the He flash?

T. Masseron, N. Lagarde, A. Miglio, Y. Elsworth, G. Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We combine simultaneous constraints on stellar evolutionary status from asteroseismology, and on nitrogen abundances derived from large spectroscopic surveys, to follow nitrogen surface abundances all along the evolution of a low-mass star, comparing model expectations with data. After testing and calibrating the observed yields from the APOGEE survey, we first show that nitrogen surface abundances follow the expected trend after the first dredge-up occurred, i.e. that the more massive is the star the more nitrogen is enhanced. Moreover, the behaviour of nitrogen data along the evolution confirms the existence of non-canonical extra-mixing on the RGB for all low-mass stars in the field. But more surprisingly, the data indicate that nitrogen has been depleted between the RGB tip and the red clump. This may suggest that some nitrogen has been burnt near or at the He flash episode.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number2
Early online date13 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

9 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS


  • Galaxy: abundances
  • stars: evolution
  • stars: abundances


Dive into the research topics of 'Nitrogen depletion in field red giants: mixing during the He flash?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this