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Observing Transitions of Aluminum Oxides Relating to Star Dust

Presentation #220.13 in the session Laboratory Investigations (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Observing Transitions of Aluminum Oxides Relating to Star Dust

Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars tend to be cool, low-to-intermediate mass stars towards the end of their lives and contribute a significant amount of material into space. These stars have different classifications depending on the C/O ratio: stars with C/O < 1 are O-rich and stars with C/O > 1 are C-rich. O-rich stars produce dust containing Aluminum Oxides (aluminas) and other alumina bearing minerals which are obtainable on Earth and have various structures that have not been thoroughly studied. AGB stars are relatively cool compared to younger stars, meaning simulating temperature profiles on Earth is also possible. These laboratory studies can be applied to planetary environments as well as astronomical environments.

In our experiments we annealed various Aluminum Hydroxides, choosing temperatures and varying annealing times based on the materials heat capacity curves, and theoretical star dust temperatures. This heat capacity is found by putting our samples through Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). We can track structural transitions in the aluminas by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).

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