The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review

, Volume 2, Issue 3–4, pp 227–247 | Cite as

High-luminosity single carbon stars in stellar and galactic evolution



In the solar neighborhood, approximately half of all intermediate mass main sequence stars with initially between 1 and about 5 M⊙become carbon stars with luminosities near 104 L⊙ for typically less than 106 years. These high luminosity carbon stars lose mass at rates nearly always in excess of 10−7 M⊙ yr−1 and sometimes in excess of 10−5 M⊙ yr−1. Locally, close to half of the mass returned into the interstellar medium by intermediate mass stars before they become white dwarfs is during the carbon star phase. A much greater fraction of lower metallicity stars become carbon-rich before they evolve into planetary nebulae than do higher metallicity stars; therefore, carbon stars are much more importan t in the outer than in the inner Galaxy.

Key words

Stars: carbon stars: circumstellar matter stars: evolution of stars: mass loss 


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© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Jura
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomy DepartmentUCLALos AngelesUSA

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