Classification of extremely metal-poor stars: absent region in A(C)-[Fe/H] plane and the role of dust cooling [GA]

Extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars are the living fossils with records of chemical enrichment history at the early epoch of galaxy formation. By the recent large observation campaigns, statistical samples of EMP stars have been obtained. This motivates us to reconsider their classification and formation conditions. From the observed lower-limits of carbon and iron abundances of Acr(C) ~ 6 and [Fe/H]cr ~ -5 for C-enhanced EMP (CE-EMP) and C-normal EMP (CN-EMP) stars, we confirm that gas cooling by dust thermal emission is indispensable for the fragmentation of their parent clouds to form such low-mass, i.e., long-lived stars, and that the dominant grain species are carbon and silicate, respectively. We constrain the grain radius r_i^{cool} of a species i and condensation efficiency f_{ij} of a key element j as r_C^{cool}/f_{C, C} = 10 um and r_Sil^{cool}/f_{Sil, Mg} = 0.1 um to reproduce Acr(C) and [Fe/H]cr, which give a universal condition 10^{[C/H]-2.30} + 10^[Fe/H] > 10^{-5.07} for the formation of every EMP star. Instead of the conventional boundary [C/Fe] = 0.7 between CE- and CN-EMP stars, this condition suggests a physically meaningful boundary [C/Fe]_{b} = 2.30 above and below which carbon and silicate grains are dominant coolants, respectively.

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G. Chiaki, N. Tominaga and T. Nozawa
Fri, 13 Oct 17

Comments: 6 pages, 4 figures, accepted as a Letter to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRASL)