Friday, March 15, 2013

1303.3374 (M. Pignatari et al.)

Production of carbon-rich presolar grains from massive stars    [PDF]

M. Pignatari, M. Wiescher, F. X. Timmes, R. J. de Boer, F. -K. Thielemann, C. Fryer, A. Heger, F. Herwig, R. Hirschi
About a year after core collapse supernova, dust starts to condense in the ejecta. In meteorites, a fraction of C-rich presolar grains (e.g., silicon carbide (SiC) grains of Type-X and low density graphites) are identified as relics of these events, according to the anomalous isotopic abundances. Several features of these abundances remain unexplained and challenge the understanding of core-collapse supernovae explosions and nucleosynthesis. We show, for the first time, that most of the measured C-rich grain abundances can be accounted for in the C-rich material from explosive He burning in core-collapse supernovae with high shock velocities and consequent high temperatures. The inefficiency of the $^{12}$C($\alpha$,$\gamma$)$^{16}$O reaction relative to the rest of the $\alpha$-capture chain at $T > 3.5\times10^8 \mathrm{K}$ causes the deepest He-shell material to be carbon rich and silicon rich, and depleted in oxygen. The isotopic ratio predictions in part of this material, defined here as the C/Si zone, are in agreement with the grain data. The high-temperature explosive conditions that our models reach at the bottom of the He shell, can also be representative of the nucleosynthesis in hypernovae or in the high-temperature tail of a distribution of conditions in asymmetric supernovae. Finally, our predictions are consistent with the observation of large $^{44}$Ca/$^{40}$Ca observed in the grains. This is due to the production of $^{44}$Ti together with $^{40}$Ca in the C/Si zone, and/or to the strong depletion of $^{40}$Ca by neutron captures.
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