Using failed supernovae to constrain the Galactic r-process element production

Wehmeyer, B. and Fröhlich, C. and Côté, B. and Pignatari, M. and Thielemann, F. -K.. (2019) Using failed supernovae to constrain the Galactic r-process element production. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 487 (2). pp. 1745-1753.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/75090/

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Rapid neutron capture process (r-process) elements have been detected in a large fraction of metal-poor halo stars, with abundances relative to iron (Fe) that vary by over two orders of magnitude. This scatter is reduced to less than a factor of 3 in younger Galactic disc stars. The large scatter of r-process elements in the early Galaxy suggests that the r-process is made by rare events, like compact binary mergers and rare sub-classes of supernovae. Although being rare, neutron star mergers alone have difficulties to explain the observed enhancement of r-process elements in the lowest metallicity stars compared to Fe. The supernovae producing the two neutron stars already provide a substantial Fe abundance where the r-process ejecta from the merger would be injected. In this work we investigate another complementary scenario, where the r-process occurs in neutron star-black hole mergers in addition to neutron star mergers. Neutron star-black hole mergers would eject similar amounts of r-process matter as neutron star mergers, but only the neutron star progenitor would have produced Fe. Furthermore, a reduced efficiency of Fe production from single stars significantly alters the age-metallicity relation, which shifts the onset of r-process production to lower metallicities. We use the high-resolution [(20 pc) 3/cell] inhomogeneous chemical evolution tool 'ICE' to study the outcomes of these effects. In our simulations, an adequate combination of neutron star mergers and neutron star-black hole mergers qualitatively reproduces the observed r-process abundances in the Galaxy.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Physik > Former Organization Units Physics > Theoretische Physik Astrophysik (Thielemann)
UniBasel Contributors:Thielemann, Friedrich-Karl
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:15 Apr 2020 15:43
Deposited On:15 Apr 2020 15:43

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