Planetary engulfment events have long been proposed as a lithium (Li) enrichment mechanism contributing to the population of Li-rich giants (A(Li) ≥ 1.5 dex). Using MESA stellar models and A(Li) abundance measurements obtained by the GALAH survey, we calculate the strength and observability of the surface Li enrichment signature produced by the engulfment of a hot Jupiter (HJ). We consider solar-metallicity stars in the mass range of 1-2 M ⊙ and the Li supplied by a HJ of 1.0 M J. We explore engulfment events that occur near the main-sequence turn-off (MSTO) and out to orbital separations of R ⋆ ~ 0.1 au = 22 R ⊙. We map our results onto the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, revealing the statistical significance and survival time of Li enrichment. We identify the parameter space of masses and evolutionary phases where the engulfment of a HJ can lead to Li enrichment signatures at a 5σ confidence level and with meteoritic abundance strengths. The most compelling strengths and survival times of engulfment-derived Li enrichment are found among host stars of 1.4 M ⊙ near the MSTO. Our calculations indicate that planetary engulfment is not a viable enrichment pathway for stars that have evolved beyond the subgiant branch. For these sources, observed Li enhancements are likely to be produced by other mechanisms, such as the Cameron-Fowler process or the accretion of material from an asymptotic giant branch companion. Our results do not account for second-order effects, such as extra mixing processes, which can further dilute Li enrichment signatures.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- December 2021
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 18 pages, 8 figures