Evolutionary models of red supergiants: evidence for a metallicity-dependent mixing length and implications for Type IIP supernova progenitors.
CHUN S.-H., YOON S.-C., JUNG M.-K., KIM D.U. and KIM J.
Abstract (from CDS):
Recent studies on the temperatures of red supergiants (RSGs) in the local universe provide us with an excellent observational constraint on RSG models. We calibrate the mixing length parameter by comparing model predictions with the empirical RSG temperatures in Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, Milky Way, and M31, which are inferred from the TiO band and the spectral energy distribution (SED). Although our RSG models are computed with the MESA code, our result may be applied to other stellar evolution codes, including the BEC and TWIN codes. We find evidence that the mixing length increases with increasing metallicity for both cases where the TiO and SED temperatures of RSGs are used for the calibration. Together with the recent finding of a similar correlation in low-mass red giants by Tayar et al., this implies that the metallicity dependence of the mixing length is a universal feature in post-main sequence stars of both low and high masses. Our result implies that typical Type IIP supernova (SN IIP) progenitors with initial masses of ∼10–16 M☉ have a radius range of 400 R☉ R 800 R☉ regardless of metallicity. As an auxiliary result of this study, we find that the hydrogen-rich envelope mass of SN IIP progenitors for a given initial mass is predicted to be largely independent of metallicity if the Ledoux criterion with slow semiconvection is adopted, while the Schwarzschild models predict systematically more massive hydrogen-rich envelopes for lower metallicity.