Scientists from China have found that lithium is in most stars. It was previously believed that this element burns out and disappears over time.
A new study by the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) showed that most stars contain lithium. Researchers studied the lithium content in hundreds of thousands of stars similar to the Sun to understand how this element appears and changes in celestial bodies.
Lithium is one of the three elements produced during the Big Bang. It was believed that it is very easily destroyed inside the stars, so the lithium content usually decreases with the age of the stars. However, researchers believe that the processes that occur inside celestial bodies can be determined by the amount of lithium.
Lithium is a special element. Our study contradicts the previous idea, which claimed that lithium is gradually being destroyed. Our observations show that stars create this element throughout their lives. This means that in the future lithium will be produced on the sun.
To better understand how this element behaves, the researchers used data from a huge Chinese stellar spectroscopic survey based on the Large Sky Area (LAMOST) multi-lens fiber optic telescope. Now, as part of the study, a database of spectra of 10 million stars is being created.
“By studying the light from the stars, we can determine what they are made of,” the scientists noted. “Our models show that theories about how stars develop do not imply the production of lithium.” New data have shown that there is a contradiction between theory and real observations”.
Researchers note that as a result, they will have more data on how the sun functions.