10 July, 2020
2 Min Read
Lithium, a light element commonly used today in communication device technology. It was first produced in the Big Bang, around 13.7 billion years ago when the universe came into being, along with other elements. The present abundance of lithium in the universe is only four times the original (Big Bang) value.
It is actually destroyed in the stars. The Sun, for instance, has about a factor of 100 lower amount of lithium than the Earth.
Helium Flash in Stars
A forty-year-old puzzle regarding the production of lithium in stars has been solved by Indian researchers-BHARAT KUMAR. Stars, as per known mechanisms of evolution, actually destroy lithium as they evolve into red giants.
Planets were known to have more lithium than their stars as is the case with the Earth-Sun pair. However, leading to a contradiction, some stars were found that were lithium-rich.
When stars grow beyond their Red Giant stage into what is known as the Red Clump stage, they produce lithium in what is known as a Helium Flash and this is what enriches them with lithium.
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