2,111 research outputs found

    From stars to nuclei

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    We recall the basic physical principles governing the evolution of stars with some emphasis on the role played by the nuclear reactions. We argue that in general it is not possible from observations of stars to deduce constraints on the nuclear reaction rates. This is the reason why precise measurements of nuclear reaction rates are a necessity in order to make progresses in stellar physics, nucleosynthesis and chemical evolution of galaxies. There are however some stars which provides useful constraint on nuclear processes. The Wolf-Rayet stars of the WN type present at their surface CNO equilibrium patterns. There is also the particular case of the abundance of 22^{22}Ne at the surface of WC stars. The abundance of this element is a measure of the initial CNO content. Very interestingly, recent determinations of its abundance at the surface of WC stars tend to confirm that massive stars in the solar neighborhood have initial metallicities in agreement with the Asplund et al. (2005) solar abundances.Comment: 8 pages, 2 figures, be published in "European Physical Journal: Special Topics

    The production of short-lived radionuclides by new non-rotating and rotating Wolf-Rayet model stars

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    It has been speculated that WR winds may have contaminated the forming solar system, in particular with short-lived radionuclides (half-lives in the approximate 10^5 - 10^8 y range) that are responsible for a class of isotopic anomalies found in some meteoritic materials. We revisit the capability of the WR winds to eject these radionuclides using new models of single non-exploding WR stars with metallicity Z = 0.02. The earlier predictions for non-rotating WR stars are updated, and models for rotating such stars are used for the first time in this context. We find that (1) rotation has no significant influence on the short-lived radionuclide production by neutron capture during the core He-burning phase, and (2) 26Al, 36Cl, 41Ca, and 107Pd can be wind-ejected by a variety of WR stars at relative levels that are compatible with the meteoritic analyses for a period of free decay of around 10^5 y between production and incorporation into the forming solar system solid bodies. We confirm the previously published conclusions that the winds of WR stars have a radionuclide composition that can meet the necessary condition for them to be a possible contaminating agent of the forming solar system. Still, it remains to be demonstrated from detailed models that this is a sufficient condition for these winds to have provided a level of pollution that is compatible with the observations.Comment: 8 pages, 8 figure

    Stellar Evolution in the Early Universe

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    Massive stars played a key role in the early evolution of the Universe. They formed with the first halos and started the re-ionisation. It is therefore very important to understand their evolution. In this paper, we describe the strong impact of rotation induced mixing and mass loss at very low ZZ. The strong mixing leads to a significant production of primary nitrogen 14, carbon 13 and neon 22. Mass loss during the red supergiant stage allows the production of Wolf-Rayet stars, type Ib,c supernovae and possibly gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) down to almost Z=0 for stars more massive than 60 solar masses. Galactic chemical evolution models calculated with models of rotating stars better reproduce the early evolution of N/O, C/O and C12/C13. We calculated the weak s-process production induced by the primary neon 22 and obtain overproduction factors (relative to the initial composition, Z=1.e-6) between 100-1000 in the mass range 60-90.Comment: 8 pages, 4 figures, proceedings of IAU Symposium 255, "Low-Metallicity Star Formation: From the First stars to Dwarf Galaxies", L.K. Hunt, S. Madden & R. Schneider, ed

    The thermonuclear production of F19 by Wolf-Rayet stars revisited

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    New models of rotating and non-rotating stars are computed for initial masses between 25 and 120 Msun and for metallicities Z = 0.004, 0.008, 0.020 and 0.040 with the aim of reexamining the wind contribution of Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars to the F19 enrichment of the interstellar medium. Models with an initial rotation velocity vini = 300 km/s are found to globally eject less F19 than the non-rotating models. We compare our new predictions with those of Meynet & Arnould (2000), and demonstrate that the F19 yields are very sensitive to the still uncertain F19(alpha,p)Ne22 rate and to the adopted mass loss rates. Using the recommended mass loss rate values that take into account the clumping of the WR wind and the NACRE reaction rates when available, we obtain WR F19 yields that are significantly lower than predicted by Meynet & Arnould (2000), and that would make WR stars non-important contributors to the galactic F19 budget. In view, however, of the large nuclear and mass loss rate uncertainties, we consider that the question of the WR contribution to the galactic F19 remains quite largely open.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysic

    On the Origin of the High Helium Sequence in ω\omega Centauri

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    The blue Main Sequence (bMS) of ω\omega Cen implies a ratio of helium to metal enrichment ΔY/ΔZ≈70\Delta Y/\Delta Z \approx 70, which is a major enigma. We show that rotating models of low metallicity stars, which account for the anomalous abundance ratios of extremely metal poor stars, are also useful for understanding the very high ΔY/ΔZ\Delta Y/\Delta Z ratio in ω\omega Cen. Models of massive stars with moderate initial rotation velocities produce stellar winds with large He-- and N--excesses, but without the large C-- (and O--) excesses made by very fast rotation, in agreement with the observed chemical abundance ratios in ω\omega Cen. It is still uncertain whether the abundance peculiarities of ω\omega Cen result from the fact that the high velocity contributions of supernovae escaped the globular cluster, usually considered as a tidally stripped core of a dwarf galaxy. Another possibility is a general dominance of wind ejecta at very low ZZ, due to the formation of black holes. Some abundance and isotopic ratios like Mg/AlMg/Al, Na/MgNa/Mg, Ne/NNe/N, 12C/13C^{12}C/^{13}C, 16O/18O^{16}O/^{18}O and 17O/18O^{17}O/^{18}O may allow us to further discriminate between these scenarios and between the AGB and massive star contributions.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    Synthesis of 19F in Wolf-Rayet stars

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    Meynet and Arnould (1993) have suggested that Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars could significantly contaminate the Galaxy with 19F. In their scenario, 19F is synthesized at the beginning of the He-burning phase from the 14N left over by the previous CNO-burning core, and is ejected in the interstellar medium when the star enters its WC phase. Recourse to CNO seeds makes the 19F yields metallicity-dependent. These yields are calculated on grounds of detailed stellar evolutionary sequences for an extended range of initial masses (from 25 to 120 Msol) and metallicities (Z = 0.008, 0.02 and 0.04). The adopted mass loss rate prescription enables to account for the observed variations of WR populations in different environments. The 19F abundance in the WR winds of 60 Msol model stars is found to be about 10 to 70 times higher than its initial value, depending on the metallicity. This prediction is used in conjunction with a very simple model for the chemical evolution of the Galaxy to predict that WR stars could be significant (dominant?) contributors to the solar system fluorine content. We also briefly discuss the implications of our model on the possible detection of fluorine at high redshift.Comment: 2 figures; requires LaTeX A&A class file; accepted for publication in Astron. Astrophy
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