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The star with record much lithium discovered

Chinese telescope Lamost, which discovered the new star. Photo: NAOC
Chinese telescope Lamost, which discovered the new star. Photo: NAOC
Published by
Markku Björkman - 08 Nov 2018

Chinese scientists have discovered a red giant using the telescope Lamost, a special type of star that contains record much lithium.

The content is 3000 times higher than normal lithium in just red giants. And that's an interesting discovery, says Sofia Ramstedt, the astronomical assistant at Uppsala University.

- The amount of lithium found in the universe is seen as evidence of the Big Bang. So it's important to understand how lithium is formed and destroyed and how much there is, she says.

At Big Bang, only three elements were formed: hydrogen, helium, and lithium.

However, according to the astronomers, lithium has never been very common and it has been difficult for researchers to get together the calculations of how much lithium there should be with how much one really found.

Therefore, finds like this are welcome. And that it's a red giant that contains the record finding is no coincidence, says Sofia Ramstedt.

"When the fuel runs out of the star's core, it happens a lot of things. Then it bubbles around, gases are mixed and the whole star grows up and one such one becomes red giant. And the theory of the article is that at the right time, lithium has been lifted from the hottest places in the middle of the star and it can only happen in a red giant.