Research Highlight

Star hunter

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.39 Published online 30 March 2010

A new tool can now hunt down carbon-enhanced metal poor (CEMP) stars. With this tool, the researchers have spotted new cosmic objects including quite a few warmer carbon-enhanced stars.

An international team of researchers from India, Brazil, and Germany has devised the technique that could shed new light on the evolution of stars.

The researchers looked at the stars from the Hamburg/ESO (HES) prism-survey plates and detected new carbon-enhanced stars, which were missed in previous HES searches for carbon stars due to selection criteria that emphasised cooler stars.

They identified 669 previously unknown candidate CEMP stars and conducted follow-up spectroscopy for a pilot sample of 132 using a 4.1 m telescope. Most of the observed stars were found to be within the targeted metallicity range and possessed prominent carbon absorption features. The success rate for the identification of new CEMP stars was 43% (13 out of 30).

Such stars are crucial to the understanding of a number of issues such as stellar evolution among the first generation of stars and the relationship between carbon enhancement and neutron-capture processes.

The authors of this work are from: Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil; Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA; Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Hamburger Sternwarte; Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg, Hamburg, and Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, An der Sternwarte, Potsdam, Germany; Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India.


  1. Placco, M. V. et al. A Search for Unrecognized Carbon-Enhanced Metal-Poor Stars in the Galaxy. Astron. J. 139, 1051 (2010)  | Article |