Chemical evolution of heavy elements in the early galaxy: Implications for stellar sources

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Abstract

An overview of the sources for heavy elements in the early Galaxy is given. It is shown that observations of abundances in metal-poor stars can be used along with a basic understanding of stellar models to guide the search for the source of the heavy r-process nuclei (r-nuclei). Observations show that this source produces very little of the elements from C through Zn, including Fe. This strongly suggests that O?Ne?Mg core-collapse supernovae (SNe) from progenitors of ∼8?11 M? are the source for the heavy r-nuclei. It is shown that a two-component model based on the abundances of Fe (from Fe core-collapse SNe) and Eu (from O?Ne?Mg core-collapse SNe) gives very good quantitative predictions for the abundances of all the other elements in metal-poor stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Galaxy: evolution
  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • Stars: Population II
  • Supernovae: general

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