Posts Tagged isotopic composition

Recent Postings from isotopic composition

NanoSIMS, TEM, and XANES studies of a Unique Presolar Supernova Graphite Grain

We report on isotopic and microstructural investigations of a unique presolar supernova (SN) graphite grain, referred to as G6, isolated from the Orgueil CI chondrite. G6 contains complex heterogeneities in its isotopic composition and in its microstructure. Nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometer isotope images of ultramicrotome sections reveal heterogeneities in its C, N, and O isotopic compositions, including anomalous shell-like structures. Transmission electron microscope studies reveal a nanocrystalline core surrounded by a turbostratic graphite mantle, the first reported nanocrystalline core from a low-density SN graphite grain. Electron diffraction analysis shows that the nanocrystalline core consists of randomly oriented 2-4 nm graphene particles, similar to those in cores of high-density (HD) presolar graphite grains from asymptotic giant branch stars. G6′s core also exhibits evidence for planar stacking of these graphene nano-sheets with a domain size up to 4.5 nm, which was unobserved in the nanocrystalline cores of HD graphite grains. We also report on X-ray absorption near-edge structure measurements of G6. The complex isotopic- and micro-structure of G6 provides evidence for mixing and/or granular transport in SN ejecta.

Nitrogen Isotopic Composition and Density of the Archean Atmosphere

Understanding the atmosphere’s composition during the Archean eon is a fundamental issue to unravel ancient environmental conditions. We show from the analysis of nitrogen and argon isotopes in fluid inclusions trapped in 3.0-3.5 Ga hydrothermal quartz that the PN2 of the Archean atmosphere was lower than 1.1 bar, possibly as low as 0.5 bar, and had a nitrogen isotopic composition comparable to the present-day one. These results imply that dinitrogen did not play a significant role in the thermal budget of the ancient Earth and that the Archean PCO2 was probably lower than 0.7 bar.

Isotope selective photodissociation of N2 by the interstellar radiation field and cosmic rays

Photodissociation of 14N2 and 14N15N occurs in interstellar clouds, circumstellar envelopes, protoplanetary discs, and other environments due to UV radiation from stellar sources and the presence of cosmic rays. This source of N atoms initiates the formation of complex N-bearing species and influences their isotopic composition. To study the photodissociation rates of 14N15N by UV continuum radiation and both isotopologues in a field of cosmic ray induced photons. To determine the effect of these on the isotopic composition of more complex molecules. High-resolution photodissociation cross sections of N2 are used from an accurate and comprehensive quantum- mechanical model of the molecule based on laboratory experiments. A similarly high-resolution spectrum of H2 emission following interactions with cosmic rays has been constructed. The spectroscopic data are used to calculate dissociation rates which are input into isotopically differentiated chemical models, describing an interstellar cloud and a protoplanetary disc. The dissociation rate of 14N15N in a Draine field assuming 30K excitation is 1.73×10-10s-1 and the rate due to cosmic rays assuming an H2 ionisation rate of 10-16s-1 is about 10-15s-1, with up to a factor of 10 difference between isotopologues. Shielding functions for 14N15N by 14N2, H2, and H are presented. Incorporating these into an interstellar cloud model, an enhancement of the atomic 15N/14N ratio is obtained due to the self-shielding of external radiation at an extinction of about 1.5 mag. This effect is larger where grain growth has reduced the opacity of dust to ultraviolet radiation. The transfer of photolytic isotopic fractionation N2 to other molecules is significant in a disc model, and is species dependent with 15N enhancement approaching a factor of 10 for HCN.

The CN/C15 N isotopic ratio towards dark clouds

Understanding the origin of the composition of solar system cosmomaterials is a central question, not only in the cosmochemistry and astrochemistry fields, and requires various approaches to be combined. Measurements of isotopic ratios in cometary materials provide strong constraints on the content of the protosolar nebula. Their relation with the composition of the parental dark clouds is, however, still very elusive. In this paper, we bring new constraints based on the isotopic composition of nitrogen in dark clouds, with the aim of understanding the chemical processes that are responsible for the observed isotopic ratios. We have observed and detected the fundamental rotational transition of C$^{15}$N towards two starless dark clouds, L1544 and L1498. We were able to derive the column density ratio of C$^{15}$N over $^{13}$CN towards the same clouds, and obtain the CN/C$^{15}$N isotopic ratios, which were found to be $500\pm75$ for both L1544 and L1498. These values are therefore marginally consistent with the protosolar value of 441. Moreover, this ratio is larger than the isotopic ratio of nitrogen measured in HCN. In addition, we present model calculations of the chemical fractionation of nitrogen in dark clouds, which make it possible to understand how CN can be deprived of $^{15}$N and HCN can simultaneously be enriched in heavy nitrogen. The non-fractionation of N2H+, however, remains an open issue and we propose some chemical way of alleviating the discrepancy between model predictions and the observed ratios.

The Effect of the Pre-Detonation Stellar Internal Velocity Profile on the Nucleosynthetic Yields in Type Ia Supernova

A common model of the explosion mechanism of Type Ia supernovae is based on a delayed detonation of a white dwarf. A variety of models differ primarily in the method by which the deflagration leads to a detonation. A common feature of the models, however, is that all of them involve the propagation of the detonation through a white dwarf that is either expanding or contracting, where the stellar internal velocity profile depends on both time and space. In this work, we investigate the effects of the pre-detonation stellar internal velocity profile and the post-detonation velocity of expansion on the production of alpha-particle nuclei, including Ni56, which are the primary nuclei produced by the detonation wave. We perform one-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the explosion phase of the white dwarf for center and off-center detonations with five different stellar velocity profiles at the onset of the detonation. We observe two distinct post-detonation expansion phases: rarefaction and bulk expansion. Almost all the burning to Ni56 occurs only in the rarefaction phase, and its expansion time scale is influenced by pre-existing flow structure in the star, in particular by the pre-detonation stellar velocity profile. We find that the mass fractions of the alpha-particle nuclei, including Ni56, are tight functions of the empirical physical parameter rho_up/v_down, where rho_up is the mass density immediately upstream of the detonation wave front and v_down is the velocity of the flow immediately downstream of the detonation wave front. We also find that v_down depends on the pre-detonation flow velocity. We conclude that the properties of the pre-existing flow, in particular the internal stellar velocity profile, influence the final isotopic composition of burned matter produced by the detonation.

Measurement of the isotopic composition of hydrogen and helium nuclei in cosmic rays with the PAMELA experiment

The satellite-borne experiment PAMELA has been used to make new measurements of cosmic ray H and He isotopes. The isotopic composition was measured between 100 and 600 MeV/n for hydrogen and between 100 and 900 MeV/n for helium isotopes over the 23rd solar minimum from July 2006 to December 2007. The energy spectrum of these components carries fundamental information regarding the propagation of cosmic rays in the galaxy which are competitive with those obtained from other secondary to primary measurements such as B/C.

Decoding the message from meteoritic stardust silicon carbide grains

Micron-sized stardust grains that originated in ancient stars are recovered from meteorites and analysed using high-resolution mass spectrometry. The most widely studied type of stardust is silicon carbide (SiC). Thousands of these grains have been analysed with high precision for their Si isotopic composition. Here we show that the distribution of the Si isotopic composition of the vast majority of stardust SiC grains carry the imprints of a spread in the age-metallicity distribution of their parent stars and of a power-law increase of the relative formation efficiency of SiC dust with the metallicity. This result offers a solution for the long-standing problem of silicon in stardust SiC grains, confirms the necessity of coupling chemistry and dynamics in simulations of the chemical evolution of our Galaxy, and constrains the modelling of dust condensation in stellar winds as function of the metallicity.

The 15N-enrichment in dark clouds and Solar System objects

The line intensities of the fundamental rotational transitions of H13CN and HC15N were observed towards two prestellar cores, L183 and L1544, and lead to molecular isotopic ratios 140 6 14N/15N 6 250 and 140 6 14N/15N 6 360, respectively. The range of values reflect genuine spatial variations within the cores. A comprehensive analysis of the available measurements of the nitrogen isotopic ratio in prestellar cores show that molecules carrying the nitrile functional group appear to be systematically 15N-enriched com- pared to those carrying the amine functional group. A chemical origin for the differential 15N-enhance- ment between nitrile- and amine-bearing interstellar molecules is proposed. This sheds new light on several observations of Solar System objects: (i) the similar N isotopic fractionation in Jupiter’s NH3 and solar wind N+; (ii) the 15N-enrichments in cometary HCN and CN (that might represent a direct inter- stellar inheritance); and (iii) 15N-enrichments observed in organics in primitive cosmomaterials. The large variations in the isotopic composition of N-bearing molecules in Solar System objects might then simply reflect the different interstellar N reservoirs from which they are originating.

Spatial heterogeneity in the radiogenic activity of the lunar interior: Inferences from CHACE and LLRI on Chandrayaan-1 [Cross-Listing]

In the past, clues on the potential radiogenic activity of the lunar interior have been obtained from the isotopic composition of noble gases like Argon. Excess Argon (40) relative to Argon (36), as compared to the solar wind composition, is generally ascribed to the radiogenic activity of the lunar interior. Almost all the previous estimates were based on, ‘on-the-spot’ measurements from the landing sites. Relative concentration of the isotopes of 40Ar and 36Ar along a meridian by the Chandra’s Altitudinal Composition Explorer (CHACE) experiment, on the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) of India’s first mission to Moon, has independently yielded clues on the possible spatial heterogeneity in the radiogenic activity of the lunar interior in addition to providing indicative ‘antiquity’ of the lunar surface along the ground track over the near side of the moon. These results are shown to broadly corroborate the independent topography measurements by the Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI) in the main orbiter Chandrayaan-1. The unique combination of these experiments provided high spatial resolution data while indicating the possible close linkages between the lunar interior and the lunar ambience.

Water transport in protoplanetary disks and the hydrogen isotopic composition of chondrites

The D/H ratios of carbonaceous chondrites, believed to reflect that of water in the inner early solar system, are intermediate between the protosolar value and that of most comets. The isotopic composition of cometary water has been accounted for by several models where the isotopic composition of water vapor evolved by isotopic exchange with hydrogen gas in the protoplanetary disk. However, the position and the wide variations of the distribution of D/H ratios in carbonaceous chondrites have yet to be explained. In this paper, we assume that the D/H composition of cometary ice was achieved in the disk building phase and model the further isotopic evolution of water in the inner disk in the classical T Tauri stage. Reaction kinetics compel isotopic exchange between water and hydrogen gas to stop at $\sim$500 K, but equilibrated water can be transported to the snow line (and beyond) via turbulent diffusion and consequently mix with isotopically comet-like water. Under certain simplifying assumptions, we calculate analytically this mixing and the resulting probability distribution function of the D/H ratio of ice accreted in planetesimals and compare it with observational data. The distribution essentially depends on two parameters: the radial Schmidt number Sc$_R$, which ratios the efficiencies of angular momentum transport and turbulent diffusion, and the range of heliocentric distances of accretion sampled by chondrites. The minimum D/H ratio of the distribution corresponds to the composition of water condensed at the snow line, which is primarily set by Sc$_R$. Observations constrain the latter to low values (0.1-0.3), which suggests that turbulence in the planet-forming region was hydrodynamical in nature, as would be expected in a dead zone. Such efficient outward diffusion would also account for the presence of high-temperature minerals in comets.

A dynamical description of neutron star crusts

Neutron Stars are natural laboratories where fundamental properties of matter under extreme conditions can be explored. Modern nuclear physics input as well as many-body theories are valuable tools which may allow us to improve our understanding of the physics of those compact objects. In this work the occurrence of exotic structures in the outermost layers of neutron stars is investigated within the framework of a microscopic model. In this approach the nucleonic dynamics is described by a time-dependent mean field approach at around zero temperature. Starting from an initial crystalline lattice of nuclei at subnuclear densities the system evolves toward a manifold of self-organized structures with different shapes and similar energies. These structures are studied in terms of a phase diagram in density and the corresponding sensitivity to the isospin-dependent part of the equation of state and to the isotopic composition is investigated.

Galactic Chemical Evolution and the Oxygen Isotopic Composition of the Solar System

We review current observational and theoretical constraints on the Galactic chemical evolution (GCE) of oxygen isotopes in order to explore whether GCE plays a role in explaining the lower 17O/18O ratio of the Sun, relative to the present-day interstellar medium, or the existence of distinct 16O-rich and 16O-poor reservoirs in the Solar System. Although the production of both 17O and 18O are related to the metallicity of progenitor stars, 17O is most likely produced in stars that evolve on longer timescales than those that produce 18O. Therefore the 17O/18O ratio need not have remained constant over time, contrary to preconceptions and the simplest models of GCE. An apparent linear, slope-one correlation between delta17O and delta18O in the ISM need not necessarily reflect an O isotopic gradient, and any slope-one galactocentric gradient need not correspond to evolution in time. Instead, increasing 17O/18O is consistent both with observational data from molecular clouds and with modeling of the compositions of presolar grains. Models in which the rate of star formation has decelerated over the past few Gyr or in which an enhanced period of star formation occurred shortly before solar birth ("starburst") can explain the solar-ISM O-isotopic difference without requiring a local input of supernova ejecta into the protosolar cloud. "Cosmic chemical memory" models in which interstellar dust is on average older than interstellar gas predict that primordial Solar System solids should be 16O-rich, relative to the Sun, in conflict with observations. However, scenarios in which the 16O-rich contribution of very massive stars could lead to 16O-poor solids and a 16O-rich bulk Sun, if the Solar System formed shortly after a starburst, independent of the popular scenario of photochemical self-shielding of CO.

Mixing of Clumpy Supernova Ejecta into Molecular Clouds

Several lines of evidence, from isotopic analyses of meteorites to studies of the Sun’s elemental and isotopic composition, indicate that the solar system was contaminated early in its evolution by ejecta from a nearby supernova (SN). Previous models have invoked SN material being injected into an extant protoplanetary disk, or isotropically expanding ejecta sweeping over a distant (>10 pc) cloud core, simultaneously enriching it and triggering its collapse. Here we consider a new astrophysical setting: the injection of clumpy SN ejecta, as observed in the Cas A SN remnant, into the molecular gas at the periphery of an HII region created by the SN’s progenitor star. To track these interactions we have conducted a suite of high-resolution (1500^3 effective) 3D simulations that follow the evolution of individual clumps as they move into molecular gas. Even at these high resolutions, our simulations do not quite achieve numerical convergence, due to the challenge of properly resolving the small-scale mixing of ejecta and molecular gas, although they do allow some robust conclusions to be drawn. Isotropically exploding ejecta do not penetrate into the molecular cloud, but, if cooling is properly accounted for, clumpy ejecta penetrate to distances ~10^18 cm and mix effectively with star-forming molecular gas. The ~2 M_\odot high-metallicity ejecta from a core-collapse SN is likely to mix with ~2 \times 10^4 M_\odot of molecular gas. Thus all stars forming late (~5 Myr) in the evolution of an HII region may be contaminated by SN ejecta at a level ~10^-4. This level of contamination is consistent with the abundances of short-lived radionuclides and possibly some stable isotopic shifts in the early solar system, and is potentially consistent with the observed variability in stellar elemental abundances. SN contamination of forming planetary systems may be a common, universal process.

Influence of Gamma-Ray Emission on the Isotopic Composition of Clouds in the Interstellar Medium

We investigate one mechanism of the change in the isotopic composition of cosmologically distant clouds of interstellar gas whose matter was subjected only slightly to star formation processes. According to the standard cosmological model, the isotopic composition of the gas in such clouds was formed at the epoch of Big Bang nucleosynthesis and is determined only by the baryon density in the Universe. The dispersion in the available cloud composition observations exceeds the errors of individual measurements. This may indicate that there are mechanisms of the change in the composition of matter in the Universe after the completion of Big Bang nucleosynthesis. We have calculated the destruction and production rates of light isotopes (D, 3He, 4He) under the influence of photonuclear reactions triggered by the gamma-ray emission from active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We investigate the destruction and production of light elements depending on the spectral characteristics of the gamma-ray emission. We show that in comparison with previous works, taking into account the influence of spectral hardness on the photonuclear reaction rates can increase the characteristic radii of influence of the gamma-ray emission from AGNs by a factor of 2-8. The high gamma-ray luminosities of AGNs observed in recent years increase the previous estimates of the characteristic radii by two orders of magnitude. This may suggest that the influence of the emission from AGNs on the change in the composition of the medium in the immediate neighborhood (the host galaxy) has been underestimated.

On the aerodynamic redistribution of chondrite components in protoplanetary disks

Despite being all roughly of solar composition, primitive meteorites (chondrites) present a diversity in their chemical, isotopic and petrographic properties, and in particular a first-order dichotomy between carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous chondrites. We investigate here analytically the dynamics of their components (chondrules, refractory inclusions, metal/sulfide and matrix grains) in protoplanetary disks prior to their incorporation in chondrite parent bodies. We find the dynamics of the solids, subject to gas drag, to be essentially controlled by the “gas-solid decoupling parameter” $S\equiv \textrm{St}/\alpha$, the ratio of the dimensionless stopping time to the turbulence parameter. The decoupling of the solid particles relative to the gas is significant when $S$ exceeds unity. $S$ is expected to increase with time and heliocentric distance. On the basis of (i) abundance of refractory inclusions (ii) proportion of matrix (iii) lithophile element abundances and (iv) oxygen isotopic composition of chondrules, we propose that non-matrix chondritic components had $S1$ when the other chondrites accreted. This suggests that accretion of carbonaceous chondrites predated on average that of the other chondrites and that refractory inclusions are genetically related to their host carbonaceous chondrites.

Impact of supernova dynamics on the \nu p-process

We study the impact of the late time dynamical evolution of ejecta from core-collapse supernovae on \nu p-process nucleosynthesis. Our results are based on hydrodynamical simulations of neutrino wind ejecta. Motivated by recent two-dimensional wind simulations, we vary the dynamical evolution during the \nu p-process and show that final abundances strongly depend on the temperature evolution. When the expansion is very fast, there is not enough time for antineutrino absorption on protons to produce enough neutrons to overcome the \beta-decay waiting points and no heavy elements beyond A=64 are produced. The wind termination shock or reverse shock dramatically reduces the expansion speed of the ejecta. This extends the period during which matter remains at relatively high temperatures and is exposed to high neutrino fluxes, thus allowing for further (p,\gamma) and (n,p) reactions to occur and to synthesize elements beyond iron. We find that the \nu p-process starts to efficiently produce heavy elements only when the temperature drops below ~3 GK. At higher temperatures, due to the low alpha separation energy of 60Zn (S_{\alpha} = 2.7 MeV) the reaction 59Cu(p,\alpha)56Ni is faster than the reaction 59Cu(p,\gamma)60Zn. This results in the closed NiCu cycle that we identify and discuss here for the first time. We also investigate the late phase of the \nu p-process when the temperatures become too low to maintain proton captures. Depending on the late neutron density, the evolution to stability is dominated by \beta decays or by (n,\gamma) reactions. In the latter case, the matter flow can even reach the neutron-rich side of stability and the isotopic composition of a given element is then dominated by neutron-rich isotopes.

Incorporation of a Late-forming Chondrule into Comet Wild 2

We report the petrology, O isotopic composition, and Al-Mg isotope system- atics of a chondrule fragment from the Jupiter-family comet Wild 2, returned to Earth by NASA’s Stardust mission. This object shows characteristics of a type II chondrule that formed from an evolved oxygen isotopic reservoir. No evidence for extinct 26Al was found, with (26Al/ 27Al)0 < 3.0\times10^-6. Assuming homogenous distribution of 26Al in the solar nebula, this particle crystallized at least 3 Myr after the earliest solar system objects-relatively late compared to most chondrules in meteorites. We interpret the presence of this object in a Kuiper Belt body as evidence of late, large-scale transport of small objects between the inner and outer solar nebula. Our observations constrain the formation of Jupiter (a barrier to outward transport if it formed further from the Sun than this cometary chondrule) to be more than 3 Myr after CAIs.

Incorporation of a Late-forming Chondrule into Comet Wild 2 [Replacement]

We report the petrology, O isotopic composition, and Al-Mg isotope systematics of a chondrule fragment from the Jupiter-family comet Wild 2, returned to Earth by NASA’s Stardust mission. This object shows characteristics of a type II chondrule that formed from an evolved oxygen isotopic reservoir. No evidence for extinct 26Al was found, with (26Al/ 27Al)0 < 3.0 x 10^-6. Assuming homogenous distribution of 26Al in the solar nebula, this particle crystallized at least 3 Myr after the earliest solar system objects–relatively late compared to most chondrules in meteorites. We interpret the presence of this object in a Kuiper Belt body as evidence of late, large-scale transport of small objects between the inner and outer solar nebula. Our observations constrain the formation of Jupiter (a barrier to outward transport if it formed further from the Sun than this cometary chondrule) to be more than 3 Myr after calcium-aluminum-rich inclusionss.

Tungsten isotopic compositions in stardust SiC grains from the Murchison meteorite: Constraints on the s-process in the Hf-Ta-W-Re-Os region

We report the first tungsten isotopic measurements in stardust silicon carbide (SiC) grains recovered from the Murchison carbonaceous chondrite. The isotopes 182W, 183W, 184W, 186W and 179Hf, 180Hf were measured on both an aggregate (KJB fraction) and single stardust SiC grains (LS+LU fraction) believed to have condensed in the outflows of low-mass carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars with close-to-solar metallicity. The SiC aggregate shows small deviations from terrestrial (=solar) composition in the 182W/184W and 183W/184W ratios, with deficits in 182W and 183W with respect to 184W. The 186W/184W ratio, however, shows no apparent deviation from the solar value. Tungsten isotopic measurements in single mainstream stardust SiC grains revealed lower than solar 182W/184W, 183W/184W, and 186W/184W ratios. We have compared the SiC data with theoretical predictions of the evolution of W isotopic ratios in the envelopes of AGB stars. These ratios are affected by the slow neutron-capture process and match the SiC data regarding their 182W/184W, 183W/184W, and 179Hf/180Hf isotopic compositions, although a small adjustment in the s-process production of 183W is needed in order to have a better agreement between the SiC data and model predictions. The models cannot explain the 186W/184W ratios observed in the SiC grains, even when the current 185W neutron-capture cross section is increased by a factor of two. Further study is required to better assess how model uncertainties (e.g., the formation of the 13C neutron source, the mass-loss law, the modelling of the third dredge-up, and the efficiency of the 22Ne neutron source) may affect current s-process predictions.

Evolution, nucleosynthesis and yields of low mass AGB stars at different metallicities (II): the FRUITY database

By using updated stellar low mass stars models, we can systematically investigate the nucleosynthesis processes occurring in AGB stars, when these objects experience recurrent thermal pulses and third dredge-up episodes. In this paper we present the database dedicated to the nucleosynthesis of AGB stars: the FRUITY (FRANEC Repository of Updated Isotopic Tables & Yields) database. An interactive web-based interface allows users to freely download the full (from H to Bi) isotopic composition, as it changes after each third dredge-up episode and the stellar yields the models produce. A first set of AGB models, having masses in the range 1.5 < M/Msun < 3.0 and metallicities 1e-3 < Z < 2e-2, is discussed here. For each model, a detailed description of the physical and the chemical evolution is provided. In particular, we illustrate the details of the s-process and we evaluate the theoretical uncertainties due to the parametrization adopted to model convection and mass loss. The resulting nucleosynthesis scenario is checked by comparing the theoretical [hs/ls] and [Pb/hs] ratios to those obtained from the available abundance analysis of s-enhanced stars. On the average, the variation with the metallicity of these spectroscopic indexes is well reproduced by theoretical models, although the predicted spread at a given metallicity is substantially smaller than the observed one. Possible explanations for such a difference are briefly discussed. An independent check of the third dredge-up efficiency is provided by the C-stars luminosity function. Consequently, theoretical C-stars luminosity functions for the Galactic disk and the Magellanic Clouds have been derived. We generally find a good agreement with observations.

Isotopic Composition of Light Nuclei in Cosmic Rays: Results from AMS-01

The variety of isotopes in cosmic rays allows us to study different aspects of the processes that cosmic rays undergo between the time they are produced and the time of their arrival in the heliosphere. In this paper we present measurements of the isotopic ratios 2H/4He, 3He/4He, 6Li/7Li, 7Be/(9Be+10Be) and 10B/11B in the range 0.2-1.4 GeV of kinetic energy per nucleon. The measurements are based on the data collected by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, AMS-01, during the STS-91 flight in 1998 June.

Light Nuclei and Isotope Abundances in Cosmic Rays. Results from AMS-01 [Replacement]

Observations of the chemical and isotopic composition of light cosmic-ray nuclei can be used to constrain the astrophysical models of cosmic-ray transport and interactions in the Galaxy. Nearly 200,000 light nuclei (Z>2) have been observed by AMS-01 during the 10-day flight STS-91 in June 1998. Using these data, we have measured the relative abundance of light nuclei Li, Be, B and C in the kinetic energy range 0.35 – 45 GeV/nucleon.

AMS-01 Measurements of Light Nuclei and Isotope Abundances in Cosmic Rays

Observations of the chemical and isotopic composition of light cosmic-ray nuclei can be used to constrain the astrophysical models of cosmic-ray transport and interactions in the Galaxy. Nearly 200,000 light nuclei (Z>2) have been observed by AMS-01 during the 10-day flight STS-91 in June 1998. Using these data, we have measured the relative abundance of light nuclei Li, Be, B and C in the kinetic energy range 0.35 – 45 GeV/nucleon.

3D Lagrangian turbulent diffusion of dust grains in a protoplanetary disk: method and first applications

In order to understand how the chemical and isotopic compositions of dust grains in a gaseous turbulent protoplanetary disk are altered during their journey in the disk, it is important to determine their individual trajectories. We study here the dust-diffusive transport using lagrangian numerical simulations using the the popular “turbulent diffusion” formalism. However it is naturally expressed in an Eulerian form, which does not allow the trajectories of individual particles to be studied. We present a simple stochastic and physically justified procedure for modeling turbulent diffusion in a Lagrangian form that overcomes these difficulties. We show that a net diffusive flux F of the dust appears and that it is proportional to the gas density ({\rho}) gradient and the dust diffusion coefficient Dd: (F=Dd/{\rho}\timesgrad({\rho})). It induces an inward transport of dust in the disk’s midplane, while favoring outward transport in the disk’s upper layers. We present tests and applications comparing dust diffusion in the midplane and upper layers as well as sample trajectories of particles with different sizes. We also discuss potential applications for cosmochemistry and SPH codes.

Protosolar Irradiation in the Early Solar System: Clues from Lithium and Boron Isotopes

We report Li and B isotopic compositions of 10 Spinel-HIBonite spherules (SHIBs) separated from the Murchison meteorite, in order to understand their irradiation history in the early Solar System. The extremely low Be concentrations in SHIBs preclude detection of extinct 10Be, but instead allow for a search of the original Li and B isotopic ratios of the grains, as these isotopes are sensitive indicators for irradiation. We found that some of the SHIBs carried sub-chondritic 7Li/6Li and supra-chondritic 10B/11B ratios. Considering two possible irradiation scenarios that could have occurred in the early Solar System, irradiation of hibonite solids followed by addition of isotopically normal Li and B seems to be the most plausible explanation for the observed Li and B isotope ratios.

A transmission electron microscopy study of presolar hibonite

We report isotopic and microstructural data on five presolar hibonite grains identified in an acid residue of the Krymka LL3.1 ordinary chondrite. Isotopic measurements by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) verified a presolar circumstellar origin for the grains. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) examination of the crystal structure and chemistry of the grains was enabled by in situ sectioning and lift-out with a focused-ion-beam scanning-electron microscope. Comparisons of isotopic compositions with models indicate that four of the five grains formed in low-mass stars that evolved through the red-giant/asymptotic-giant branches, whereas one grain formed in the ejecta of a Type II supernova. Selected-area electron-diffraction patterns show that all grains are single crystals of hibonite. Some grains contain stacking faults and small spreads in orientation that can be attributed to a combination of growth defects and mechanical processing by grain-grain collisions. The similar structure of the supernova grain to those from RGB/AGB stars indicates a similarity in the formation conditions. Radiation damage, if present, occurs below our detection limit. Of the five grains we studied, only one has the pure hibonite composition of CaAl12O19. All others contain minor amounts of Mg, Si, Ti, and Fe. The microstructural data are generally consistent with theoretical predictions, which constrain the circumstellar condensation temperature to a range of 1480 K to 1743 K, assuming a corresponding total gas pressure between 1 x 10-3 and 1 x 10-6 atm. The TEM data were used to develop a calibration for SIMS determination of Ti contents in oxide grains. Grains with extreme 18O depletions, indicating deep mixing has occurred in their parent AGB stars, are slightly Ti-enriched compared to grains from stars without deep mixing, most likely reflecting differences in grain condensation conditions.

Chemical Fractionation in the Silicate Vapor Atmosphere of the Earth

Despite its importance to questions of lunar origin, the chemical composition of the Moon is not precisely known. In recent years, however, the isotopic composition of lunar samples has been determined to high precision and found to be indistinguishable from the terrestrial mantle despite widespread isotopic heterogeneity in the Solar System. In the context of the giant-impact hypothesis, this level of isotopic homogeneity can evolve if the proto-lunar disk and post-impact Earth undergo turbulent mixing into a single uniform reservoir while the system is extensively molten and partially vaporized. In the absence of liquid-vapor separation, such a model leads to the lunar inheritance of the chemical composition of the terrestrial magma ocean. Hence, the turbulent mixing model raises the question of how chemical differences arose between the silicate Earth and Moon. Here we explore the consequences of liquid-vapor separation in one of the settings relevant to the lunar composition: the silicate vapor atmosphere of the post-giant-impact Earth. We use a model atmosphere to quantify the extent to which rainout can generate chemical differences by enriching the upper atmosphere in the vapor, and show that plausible parameters can generate the postulated enhancement in the FeO/MgO ratio of the silicate Moon relative to the Earth’s mantle. Moreover, we show that liquid-vapor separation also generates measurable mass-dependent isotopic offsets between the silicate Earth and Moon and that precise silicon isotope measurements can be used to constrain the degree of chemical fractionation during this earliest period of lunar history. An approach of this kind has the potential to resolve long-standing questions on the lunar chemical composition.

Relative Composition and Energy Spectra of Light Nuclei in Cosmic Rays. Results from AMS-01 [Replacement]

Measurement of the chemical and isotopic composition of cosmic rays is essential for the precise understanding of their propagation in the galaxy. While the model parameters are mainly determined using the B/C ratio, the study of extended sets of ratios can provide stronger constraints on the propagation models. In this paper the relative abundances of the light nuclei lithium, beryllium, boron and carbon are presented. The secondary to primary ratios Li/C, Be/C and B/C have been measured in the kinetic energy range 0.35-45 GeV/nucleon. The isotopic ratio 7Li/6Li is also determined in the magnetic rigidity interval 2.5-6.3 GV. The secondary to secondary ratios Li/Be, Li/B and Be/B are also reported. These measurements are based on the data collected by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer AMS-01 during the STS-91 space shuttle flight in 1998 June. Our experimental results are in substantial agreement with other measurements, where they exist. We describe our light-nuclei data with a diffusive-reacceleration model. A 10-15% overproduction of Be is found in the model predictions and can be attributed to uncertainties in the production cross-section data.

Relative Composition and Energy Spectra of Light Nuclei in Cosmic Rays. Results from AMS-01

Measurement of the chemical and isotopic composition of cosmic rays is essential for the precise understanding of their propagation in the galaxy. While the model parameters are mainly determined using the B/C ratio, the study of extended sets of ratios can provide stronger constraints on the propagation models. In this paper the relative abundances of the light nuclei lithium, beryllium, boron and carbon are presented. The secondary to primary ratios Li/C, Be/C and B/C have been measured in the kinetic energy range 0.35-45 GeV/nucleon. The isotopic ratio 7Li/6Li is also determined in the magnetic rigidity interval 2.5-6.3 GV. The secondary to secondary ratios Li/Be, Li/B and Be/B are also reported. These measurements are based on the data collected by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer AMS-01 during the STS-91 space shuttle flight in 1998 June. Our experimental results are in substantial agreement with other measurements, where they exist. We describe our light-nuclei data with a diffusive-reacceleration model. A 10-15% overproduction of Be is found in the model predictions and can be attributed to uncertainties in the production cross-section data.

Coordinated Analyses of Presolar Grains in the Allan Hills 77307 and Queen Elizabeth Range 99177 Meteorites

We report the identification of presolar silicates (~177 ppm), presolar oxides (~11 ppm), and one presolar SiO2 grain in the ALHA 77307 chondrite. Three grains having Si isotopic compositions similar to SiC X and Z grains were also identified, though the mineral phases are unconfirmed. Similar abundances of presolar silicates (~152 ppm) and oxides (~8 ppm) were also uncovered in the primitive CR chondrite QUE 99177, along with 13 presolar SiC grains and one presolar silicon nitride. The O isotopic compositions of the presolar silicates and oxides indicate that most of the grains condensed in low-mass red giant and asymptotic giant branch stars. Interestingly, unlike presolar oxides, few presolar silicate grains have isotopic compositions pointing to low-metallicity, low-mass stars (Group 3). The 18O-rich (Group 4) silicates, along with the few Group 3 silicates that were identified, likely have origins in supernova outflows. This is supported by their O and Si isotopic compositions. Elemental compositions for 74 presolar silicate grains were determined by scanning Auger spectroscopy. Most of the grains have non-stoichiometric elemental compositions inconsistent with pyroxene or olivine, the phases commonly used to fit astronomical spectra, and have comparable Mg and Fe contents. Non-equilibrium condensation and/or secondary alteration could produce the high Fe contents. Transmission electron microscopic analysis of three silicate grains also reveals non-stoichiometric compositions, attributable to non-equilibrium or multistep condensation, and very fine-scale elemental heterogeneity, possibly due to subsequent annealing. The mineralogies of presolar silicates identified in meteorites thus far seem to differ from those in interplanetary dust particles.

Coordinated Analyses of Presolar Grains in the Allan Hills 77307 and Queen Elizabeth Range 99177 Meteorites [Replacement]

We report the identification of presolar silicates (~177 ppm), presolar oxides (~11 ppm), and one presolar SiO2 grain in the Allan Hills (ALHA) 77307 chondrite. Three grains having Si isotopic compositions similar to SiC X and Z grains were also identified, though the mineral phases are unconfirmed. Similar abundances of presolar silicates (~152 ppm) and oxides (~8 ppm) were also uncovered in the primitive CR chondrite Queen Elizabeth Range (QUE) 99177, along with 13 presolar SiC grains and one presolar silicon nitride. The O isotopic compositions of the presolar silicates and oxides indicate that most of the grains condensed in low-mass red giant and asymptotic giant branch stars. Interestingly, unlike presolar oxides, few presolar silicate grains have isotopic compositions pointing to low-metallicity, low-mass stars (Group 3). The 18O-rich (Group 4) silicates, along with the few Group 3 silicates that were identified, likely have origins in supernova outflows. This is supported by their O and Si isotopic compositions. Elemental compositions for 74 presolar silicate grains were determined by scanning Auger spectroscopy. Most of the grains have non-stoichiometric elemental compositions inconsistent with pyroxene or olivine, the phases commonly used to fit astronomical spectra, and have comparable Mg and Fe contents. Non-equilibrium condensation and/or secondary alteration could produce the high Fe contents. Transmission electron microscopic analysis of three silicate grains also reveals non-stoichiometric compositions, attributable to non-equilibrium or multistep condensation, and very fine scale elemental heterogeneity, possibly due to subsequent annealing. The mineralogies of presolar silicates identified in meteorites thus far seem to differ from those in interplanetary dust particles.

Automated NanoSIMS Measurements of Spinel Stardust from the Murray Meteorite

We report new O isotopic data on 41 presolar oxide grains, 38 MgAl2O4 (spinel) and 3 Al2O3 from the CM2 meteorite Murray, identified with a recently developed automated measurement system for the NanoSIMS. We have also obtained Mg-Al isotopic results on 29 of the same grains (26 spinel and 3 Al2O3). The majority of the grains have O isotopic compositions typical of most presolar oxides, fall well into the four previously defined groups, and are most likely condensates from either red giant branch or asymptotic giant branch stars. We have also discovered several grains with more unusual O and Mg compositions suggesting formation in extreme astrophysical environments, such as novae and supernovae. One of these grains has massive enrichments in 17O, 25Mg, and 26Mg, which are isotopic signatures indicative of condensation from nova ejecta. Two grains of supernova origin were also discovered: one has a large 18O/16O ratio typical of Group 4 presolar oxides; another grain is substantially enriched in 16O, and also contains radiogenic 44Ca from the decay of 44Ti, a likely condensate from material originating in the O-rich inner zones of a Type II supernova. In addition, several Group 2 presolar spinel grains also have large 25Mg and 26Mg isotopic anomalies that are difficult to explain by standard nucleosynthesis in low-mass stars. Auger elemental spectral analyses were performed on the grains and qualitatively suggest that presolar spinel may not have higher-than- stoichiometric Al/Mg ratios, in contrast to SIMS results obtained here and reported previously.

Is Extra Mixing Really Needed in Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars?

(Abridged) We demonstrate that the amount of extra mixing required to fit the observed low C/N and 12C/13C ratios in first giant branch (FGB) stars is also sufficient to explain the C and N abundances of Galactic AGB stars. We simulate the effect of extra mixing on the FGB by setting the composition of the envelope to that observed in low-mass FGB stars, and then evolve the models to the tip of the AGB. The inclusion of FGB extra mixing compositional changes has a strong effect on the C and N abundance in our AGB models, leading to compositions consistent with those measured in Galactic C-rich stars. The composition of the models is also consistent with C abundances measured in mainstream silicon carbide grains. While our models cover the range of C abundances measured in C stars in NGC 1846, we cannot simultaneously match the composition of the O and C-rich stars. Our models only match the O isotopic composition of K and some M, MS giants, and are not able to match the O composition of C-rich AGB stars. By increasing the 16O intershell abundance (based on observational evidence) it is possible to reproduce the observed trend of increasing 16O/18O and 16O/17O ratios with evolutionary phase. We conclude 1) if extra mixing occurs during the AGB it likely only occurs efficiently in low metallicity objects, or when the stars are heavily obscured making spectroscopic observations difficult, and 2) that the intershell compositions of AGB stars needs further investigation.

An alternative hypothesis for the origin of the Moon

Recent high-precision measurements of lunar samples show a very high degree of similarity between the elemental and isotopic compositions of Earth mantle and the Moon. This similarity, which is exhibited by both light and heavy elements and their isotopes, is difficult to reconcile with the currently favoured giant impact hypothesis for lunar formation. We propose an alternative explanation for the compositional correspondence, namely that the Moon was formed from the ejection of terrestrial mantle material in a heat-propelled jet, triggered by a run-away natural georeactor at Earth core-mantle boundary. The energy produced by the run-away reactor supplies the missing energy term in the fission hypothesis for lunar formation first proposed by Darwin (1879). Our hypothesis straightforwardly explains the identical isotopic composition of Earth and Moon for both lighter (oxygen, silicon, potassium) and heavier (chromium, neodymium and tungsten) elements.

Forming the Moon from terrestrial silicate-rich material [Replacement]

Recent high-precision measurements of the isotopic composition of lunar rocks demonstrate that the bulk silicate Earth and the Moon show an unexpectedly high degree of similarity. This is inconsistent with one of the primary results of classic dynamical simulations of the widely accepted giant impact model for the formation of the Moon, namely that most of the mass of the Moon originates from the impactor, not Earth. Resolution of this discrepancy without changing the main premises of the giant impact model requires total isotopic homogenisation of Earth and impactor material after the impact for a wide range of elements including O, Si, K, Ti, Nd and W. Even if this process could explain the O isotope similarity, it is unlikely to work for the much heavier, refractory elements. Given the increasing uncertainty surrounding the giant impact model in light of these geochemical data, alternative hypotheses for lunar formation should be explored. In this paper, we revisit the hypothesis that the Moon was formed directly from terrestrial mantle material. We show that the dynamics of this scenario requires a large amount of energy, almost instantaneously generated additional energy. The only known source for this additional energy is nuclear fission. We show that it is feasible to form the Moon through the ejection of terrestrial silicate material triggered by a nuclear explosion at Earths core-mantle boundary (CMB), causing a shock wave propagating through the Earth. Hydrodynamic modelling of this scenario shows that a shock wave created by rapidly expanding plasma resulting from the explosion disrupts and expels overlying mantle and crust material.

Rotational spectra of isotopic species of methyl cyanide, CH3CN, in their ground vibrational states up to terahertz frequencies

Methyl cyanide is an important trace molecule in star-forming regions. It is one of the more common molecules used to derive kinetic temperatures in such sources. As preparatory work for Herschel, SOFIA, and in particular ALMA we want to improve the rest frequencies of the main as well as minor isotopologs of methyl cyanide. The laboratory rotational spectrum of methyl cyanide in natural isotopic composition has been recorded up to 1.63 THz. Transitions with good signal-to-noise ratio could be identified for CH3CN, (13)CH3CN, CH3(13)CN, CH3C(15)N, CH2DCN, and (13)CH3(13)CN in their ground vibrational states up to about 1.2 THz. The main isotopic species could be identified even in the highest frequency spectral recordings around 1.6 THz. The highest J’ quantum numbers included in the fit are 64 for (13)CH3(13)CN and 89 for the main isotopic species. Greatly improved spectroscopic parameters have been obtained by fitting the present data together with previously reported transition frequencies. The present data will be helpful to identify isotopologs of methyl cyanide in the higher frequency bands of instruments such as the recently launched Herschel satellite, the upcoming airplane mission SOFIA or the radio telescope array ALMA.

Rotational spectra of isotopic species of methyl cyanide, CH3CN, in their ground vibrational states up to terahertz frequencies

Methyl cyanide is an important trace molecule in star-forming regions. It is one of the more common molecules used to derive kinetic temperatures in such sources. As preparatory work for Herschel, SOFIA, and in particular ALMA we want to improve the rest frequencies of the main as well as minor isotopologs of methyl cyanide. The laboratory rotational spectrum of methyl cyanide in natural isotopic composition has been recorded up to 1.63 THz. Transitions with good signal-to-noise ratio could be identified for CH3CN, (13)CH3CN, CH3(13)CN, CH3C(15)N, CH2DCN, and (13)CH3(13)CN in their ground vibrational states up to about 1.2 THz. The main isotopic species could be identified even in the highest frequency spectral recordings around 1.6 THz. The highest J’ quantum numbers included in the fit are 64 for (13)CH3(13)CN and 89 for the main isotopic species. Greatly improved spectroscopic parameters have been obtained by fitting the present data together with previously reported transition frequencies. The present data will be helpful to identify isotopologs of methyl cyanide in the higher frequency bands of instruments such as the recently launched Herschel satellite, the upcoming airplane mission SOFIA or the radio telescope array ALMA.

Heavy Element Abundances in Presolar Silicon Carbide Grains from Low-Metallicity AGB Stars

Primitive meteorites contain small amounts of presolar minerals that formed in the winds of evolved stars or in the ejecta of stellar explosions. Silicon carbide is the best studied presolar mineral. Based on its isotopic compositions it was divided into distinct populations that have different origins: Most abundant are the mainstream grains which are believed to come from 1.5-3 Msun AGB stars of roughly solar metallicitiy. The rare Y and Z grains are likely to come from 1.5-3 Msun AGB stars as well, but with subsolar metallicities (0.3-0.5x solar). Here we report on C and Si isotope and trace element (Zr, Ba) studies of individual, submicrometer-sized SiC grains. The most striking results are: (1) Zr and Ba concentrations are higher in Y and Z grains than in mainstream grains, with enrichments relative to Si and solar of up to 70x (Zr) and 170x (Ba), respectively. (2) For the Y and Z grains there is a positive correlation between Ba concentrations and amount of s-process Si. This correlation is well explained by predictions for 2-3 Msun AGB stars with metallicities of 0.3-0.5x solar. This confirms low-metallicity stars as most likely stellar sources for the Y and Z grains.

Metal-rich absorbers at high redshifts: abundance patterns

(Abbreviated) From six spectra of high-z QSOs, we select eleven metal-rich, Z>=Z_solar, and optically-thin to the ionizing radiation, N(HI)<10^17 cm^-2, absorption systems ranging between z=1.5 and z=2.9 and revealing lines of different ions in subsequent ionization stages. The majority of the systems (10 from 11) show abundance patterns which relate them to outflows from low and intermediate mass stars. All systems have sub-kpc linear sizes along the line-of-sight with many less than 20 pc. In several systems, silicon is deficient, presumably due to the depletion onto dust grains in the envelopes of dust-forming stars and the subsequent gas-dust separation. At any value of [C/H], nitrogen can be either deficient, [N/C]<0, or enhanced, [N/C]>0, which supposes that the nitrogen enrichment occurs irregularly. In some cases, the lines of MgII 2796, 2803 appear to be shifted, probably as a result of an enhanced content of heavy isotopes 25Mg and 26Mg in the absorbing gas relative to the solar isotopic composition. Seven absorbers are characterized by low mean ionization parameter U, log U<-2.3, among them only one system has a redshift z>2 whereas all others are found at z ~= 1.8. Comparing the space number density of metal-rich absorbers with the comoving density of star-forming galaxies at z ~= 2, we estimate that the circumgalactic volume of each galaxy is populated by 10^7 – 10^8 such absorbers with total mass <=1/100th of the stellar galactic mass. Possible effects of high metal content on the peak values of star-forming and AGN activities at z~2 are discussed.

Co-production of light p-, s- and r-process isotopes in the high-entropy wind of type II supernovae

We have performed large-scale nucleosynthesis calculations within the high-entropy-wind (HEW) scenario of type II supernovae. The primary aim was to constrain the conditions for the production of the classical "p-only" isotopes of the light trans-Fe elements. We find, however, that for electron fractions in the range 0.458 $\le$ Y$_e$ $\le$ 0.478, sizeable abundances of p-, s- and r-process nuclei between $^{64}$Zn and $^{98}$Ru are coproduced in the HEW at low entropies (S $\le$ 100) by a primary charged-particle process after an $\alpha$-rich freezeout. With the above Y$_e$ — S correlation, most of the predicted isotopic abundance ratios within a given element (e.g. $^{64}$Zn(p)/$^{70}$Zn(r) or $^{92}$Mo(p)/$^{94}$Mo(p)), as well as of neighboring elements (e.g. $^{70}$Ge(s+p)/$^{74}$Se(p) or $^{74}$Se(p)/$^{78}$Kr(p)) agree with the observed Solar-System ratios. Taking the Mo isotopic chain as a particularly challenging example, we show that our HEW model can account for the production of all 7 stable isotopes, from "p-only" $^{92}$Mo, via "s-only" $^{96}$Mo up to "r-only" $^{100}$Mo. Furthermore, our model is able to reproduce the isotopic composition of Mo in presolar SiC X-grains.}

Nucleosynthesis of light element isotopes in evolved stars experiencing extended mixing

We present computations of nucleosynthesis in red giants and asymptotic giant branch stars of Population I experiencing extended mixing. The assumed physical cause for mass transport is the buoyancy of magnetized structures, according to recent suggestions. The peculiar property of such a mechanism is to allow for both fast and slow mixing phenomena, as required for reproducing the spread in Li abundances displayed by red giants and as discussed in an accompanying paper. We explore here the effects of this kind of mass transport on CNO and intermediatemass nuclei and compare the results with the available evidence from evolved red giants and from the isotopic composition of presolar grains of AGB origin. It is found that a good general accord exists between predictions and measurements; in this framework we also show which type of observational data best constrains the various parameters. We conclude that magnetic buoyancy, allowing for mixing at rather different speeds, can be an interesting scenario to explore for explaining together the abundances of CNO nuclei and of Li.

On the Mass and Metallicity Distributions of the Parent AGB Stars of O-rich Presolar Stardust Grains

Presolar grains in meteorites formed in a sample of AGB stars that ended their lives within ~1 Gyr of the origin of the Solar System 4.6 Gyr ago. The O-isotopic compositions of presolar O-rich stardust reflect the masses and metallicities of their parent stars. We present simple Monte Carlo simulations of the parent AGB stars of presolar grains. Comparison of model predictions with the grain data allow some broad conclusions to be drawn: 1) Presolar O-rich grains formed in AGB stars of mass ~1.15 – 2.2 MSun. The upper-mass cutoff reflects dredge-up of C in more massive AGB stars, leading to C-rich dust rather than O-rich, but the lack of grains from intermediate-mass AGB stars (>4MSun) is a major puzzle. 2) The grain O-isotopic data are reproduced well if the Galaxy in presolar times was assumed to have a moderate age-metallicity relationship, but with significant metallicity scatter for stars born at the same time. 3) The Sun appears to have a moderately low metallicity for its age and/or unusual 17O/16O and 18O/16O ratios for its metallicity. 4) The Solar 17O/18O ratio, while unusual relative to present-day molecular clouds and protostars, was not atypical for the presolar disk and does not require self-pollution of the protosolar molecular cloud by supernova ejecta.

A high resolution study of isotopic composition and chemical abundances of blue horizontal branch stars in the globular clusters NGC6397 and NGC6752

Large abundance anomalies have been previously detected in Horizontal Branch B-type stars. We present the first high resolution study of isotopic anomalies and chemical abundances in six Horizontal Branch B-type stars in globular clusters NGC6397 and NGC6752 and compare them to those observed in HgMn stars. We obtained high-resolution (up to R~115000) UVES spectra of a representative sample of six B-type stars (T183, T191, T193, B652, B2151, B2206). It is the first time an abundance analysis is performed for all elements for which spectral lines were detected in UVES spectra of Horizontal Branch B-type stars. Our study of these stars revealed no signs of He isotopic anomalies which would produce a ^3He/^4He ratio different from the solar one. The isotopic anomaly of Ca is detected in all six studied stars. The chemical abundance analysis reveals an overabundance over the solar values of P, Ti, Mn, Fe, and Y and an overabundance over the cluster metallicity of Mg, Ca, and Cr. This behaviour is very similar in all six studied stars of both clusters with a few exceptions: The Na abundance is by more than 1.4dex larger than the cluster metallicity in B652, and by more than 0.8dex larger than the cluster metallicity in B2206; the Co abundance is 1.0dex over the solar abundance for T191, while Zr is overabundant over the solar abundance by 0.4dex in B2206. No lines of Hg or other heavy elements were observed in the spectra. Weak emission lines of Ti II, similar to those frequently observed in HgMn stars were discovered in one Horizontal Branch B-type star T191. Further, we detected a radial velocity change of 0.9km s^-1 from one night to the next for T183 and 0.4km s^-1 for B2151.

Solar System formation

In this review, three major changes in our understanding of the early history of the Solar System are presented. 1) Early differentiation: A few recent results support the idea that protoplanet formation and differentiation occurred partly simultaneously than CAI formation. First, some iron meteorites, eucrites, and angrites older than the chondrules or even than the CAI have been found. Second, iron meteorites could be debris of early disrupted differentiated planetesimals, scattered from the terrestrial planet region to the Main Belt. Finally, chondrules contain fragments of planetesimal material. 2) Earth and Moon: An equilibration mechanism explains the identical Oxygen isotopic composition of the Earth and the Moon. In addition, it has been shown that the Earth and the Moon mantles have the same 182^W anomaly, in contrast to what was believed before. Consequently, the Moon forming impact should have occurred after the extinction of the 182Hf radioactivity, about 60 Myr after Solar System formation. This new datation is in agreement with new N-body numerical simulations of the last phase of terrestrial planets formation, in which giant impacts occur during about 100 Myr. 3) Giant planets and Nice model: The migration of the giant planets in the protoplanetary disc can be prevented if the planets are in resonance, close to each other. In the “Nice model”, the 4 outer planets of the Solar System were in a compact configuration after the dissipation of gaseous disc. A few hundred million years later, a global instability drives the planets on their present orbits, producing the Late Heavy Bombardment. In this frame, a lot of characteristics of our Solar System can be explained.

Direct measurement of the 15N(p,gamma)16O total cross section at novae energies [Cross-Listing]

The 15N(p,gamma)16O reaction controls the passage of nucleosynthetic material from the first to the second carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) cycle. A direct measurement of the total 15N(p,gamma)16O cross section at energies corresponding to hydrogen burning in novae is presented here. Data have been taken at 90-230 keV center-of-mass energy using a windowless gas target filled with nitrogen of natural isotopic composition and a bismuth germanate summing detector. The cross section is found to be a factor two lower than previously believed.

Nucleosynthetic osmium isotope anomalies in acid leachates of the Murchison meteorite

We present osmium isotopic results obtained by sequential leaching of the Murchison meteorite, which reveal the existence of very large internal anomalies of nucleosynthetic origin. The Os isotopic anomalies are correlated, and can be explained by the variable contributions of components derived from the s, r and p-processes of nucleosynthesis. Much of the s-process rich osmium is released by relatively mild leaching, suggesting the existence of an easily leachable s-process rich presolar phase, or alternatively, of a chemically resistant r-process rich phase. The s-process composition of Os released by mild leaching diverges slightly from that released by aggressive digestion techniques, perhaps suggesting that the presolar phases attacked by these differing procedures condensed in different stellar environments. The correlation between 190Os and 188Os can be used to constrain the s-process 190Os/188Os ratio to be 1.275 pm 0.043. Such a ratio can be reproduced in a nuclear reaction network for a MACS value for 190Os of ~200 pm 22 mbarn at 30 keV. We also present evidence for extensive internal variation of 184Os abundances in the Murchison meteorite. This suggests that p process rich presolar grains (e.g., supernova condensates) may be present in meteorites in sufficient quantities to influence the Os isotopic compositions of the leachates.

 

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