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RE: Solar supernova
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Title: Abundance, distribution, and origin of 60Fe in the solar protoplanetary disk
Authors: Haolan Tang, Nicolas Dauphas

Meteorites contain relict decay products of short-lived radionuclides that were present in the protoplanetary disk when asteroids and planets formed. Several studies reported a high abundance of 60Fe (t1/2=2.62±0.04 Myr) in chondrites (60Fe/56Fe~6*10-7), suggesting that planetary materials incorporated fresh products of stellar nucleosynthesis ejected by one or several massive stars that exploded in the vicinity of the newborn Sun. We measured 58Fe/54Fe and 60Ni/58Ni isotope ratios in whole rocks and constituents of differentiated achondrites (ureilites, aubrites, HEDs, and angrites), unequilibrated ordinary chondrites Semarkona (LL3.0) and NWA 5717 (ungrouped petrologic type 3.05), metal-rich carbonaceous chondrite Gujba (CBa), and several other meteorites (CV, EL H, LL chondrites; IIIAB, IVA, IVB iron meteorites). We derive from these measurements a much lower initial 60Fe/56Fe ratio of (11.5±2.6)*10-9 and conclude that 60Fe was homogeneously distributed among planetary bodies. This low ratio is consistent with derivation of 60Fe from galactic background (60Fe/56Fe=2.8*10-7 in the interstellar medium from gamma-ray observations) and can be reconciled with high 26Al/27Al=5*10-5 in chondrites if solar material was contaminated through winds by outer layers of one or several massive stars (e.g., a Wolf-Rayet star) rich in 26Al and poor in 60Fe. We present the first chronological application of the 60Fe-60Ni decay system to establish the time of core formation on Vesta at 3.7 (+2.5/-1.7) Myr after condensation of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs).

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Presolar diamonds
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Title: Origin of anomalous Xe-H in presolar diamonds: Indications of a "cold" r-process
Authors: Karl-Ludwig Kratz, Khalil Farouqi, Ulrich Ott

We report on a concerted effort aimed at understanding the nucleosynthesis origin of Xe-H in presolar nanodiamonds. Previously explored possible explanations have included a secondary neutron-burst process occurring in the He-shell of a type II supernova (SN), as well as a rapid separation, between unstable precursor isobars of a primary r-process, and stable Xe isotopes. Here we present results from the investigation of a rapid neutron-capture scenario in core-collapse SNe with different non-standard r-process variants. Our calculations are performed in the framework of the high-entropy-wind (HEW) scenario using updated nuclear-physics input. We explore the consequences of varying the wind expansion velocity (Vexp) for selected electron fractions (Ye) with their correlated entropy ranges (S), and neutron-freezeout temperatures (T9(freeze)) and timescales (tau-r(freeze). We draw several conclusions: For Xe-H a "cold" r-process with a fast freezeout seems to be the favoured scenario. Furthermore, eliminating the low-S range (i.e. the "weak" r-process component) and maintaining a pure "main" or even "strong" r-process leads to an optimum overall agreement with the measured iXe/136Xe abundance ratios. Our results can provide valuable additional insight into overall astrophysical conditions of producing the r-process part of the total SS heavy elements in explosive nucleosynthesis scenarios.

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RE: Solar supernova
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Title: Early evolution of the birth cluster of the solar system
Authors: Susanne Pfalzner

The solar system was most likely born in a star cluster containing at least 1000 stars. It is highly probable that this cluster environment influenced various properties of the solar system like its chemical composition, size and the orbital parameters of some of its constituting bodies. In the Milky Way, clusters with more than 2000 stars only form in two types - starburst clusters and leaky clusters - each following a unique temporal development in the mass-radius plane. The aim is here to determine the encounter probability in the range relevant to solar system formation for starburst or leaky cluster environments as a function of cluster age. N-body methods are used to investigate the cluster dynamics and the effect of gravitational interactions between cluster members on young solar-type stars surrounded by discs. Using the now available knowledge of the cluster density at a given cluster age it is demonstrated that in starburst clusters the central densities over the first 5Myr are so high (initially > 10^5 solar masses pc^{-3}) that hardly any discs with solar system building potential would survive this phase. This makes a starburst clusters an unlikely environment for the formation of our solar system. Instead it is highly probable that the solar system formed in a leaky cluster (often classified as OB association). It is demonstrated that an encounter determining the characteristic properties existing in our solar systems most likely happened very early on (< 2Myr) in its formation history and that after 5Myr the likelihood of a solar-type star experiencing such an encounter in a leaky cluster is negligible even if it was still part of the bound remnant. This explains why the solar system could develop and maintain its high circularity later in its development.

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Where did the Sun come from? (M67)

Spoiler

The open cluster M67 has traditionally been considered a possible birthplace for the Sun, though computer modelling may throw a spanner in the works? Will astronomers ever learn where our star was born?

Ed ~ See post Jan 5 02:21 2012: The Sun was not born in M 67



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Astronomers identify likely lineage using radioactive metals.

Astronomers love to say that we are all made of elements forged in the bellies of giant stars and exploded into vast clouds of stellar debris. But they rarely tell us the details of the solar system's stellar genealogy.
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Solar protoplanetary disk
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Title: Solar system genealogy revealed by extinct short-lived radionuclides in meteorites
Authors: Matthieu Gounelle, Georges Meynet

Little is known about the stellar environment and the genealogy of our solar system. Short-lived radionuclides (SLRs, mean lifetime shorter than 100 Myr) that were present in the solar protoplanetary disk 4.56 Gyr ago could potentially provide insight into that key aspect of our history, were their origin understood. Previous models failed to provide a reasonable explanation of the abundance of two key SLRs, 26Al (mean lifetime = 1.1 Myr) and 60Fe (mean lifetime = 3.7 Myr), at the birth of the solar system by requiring unlikely astrophysical conditions. Our aim is to propose a coherent and generic solution based on the most recent understanding of star-forming mechanisms. Iron-60 in the nascent solar system is shown to have been produced by a diversity of supernovae belonging to a first generation of stars in a giant molecular cloud. Aluminum-26 is delivered into a dense collected shell by a single massive star wind belonging to a second star generation. The Sun formed in the collected shell as part of a third stellar generation. Aluminum-26 yields used in our calculation are based on new rotating stellar models in which 26Al is present in stellar winds during the star main sequence rather than during the Wolf-Rayet phase alone. Our scenario eventually constrains the time sequence of the formation of the two stellar generations that just preceded the solar system formation, along with the number of stars born in these two generations.

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RE: Solar supernova
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3D models confirm supernova triggered our solar system's formation

Scientists at Carnegie Institution for Science have provided the first fully three-dimensional models to demonstrate how a shock wave from a supernova explosion triggered the formation of our Solar System.
For decades it has been thought that a shock wave from a supernova explosion triggered our solar system's formation.
According to this theory, the shock wave also injected material from the exploding star into a cloud of dust and gas, and the newly polluted cloud collapsed to form the Sun and its surrounding planets.
New work from Carnegie's Alan Boss and Sandra Keiser provides the first fully three-dimensional (3-D) models for how this process could have happened.

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Title: Refractory Metal Nuggets -- Formation of the First Condensates in the Solar Nebula
Authors: Kurt Liffman, Francesco C. Pignatale, Sarah Maddison, Geoffrey Brooks

As gas flowed from the solar accretion disk or solar nebula onto the proto-Sun, magnetic pressure gradients in the solar magnetosphere and the inner solar nebula provided an environment where some of this infalling flow was diverted to produce a low pressure, high temperature, gaseous, "infall" atmosphere around the inner solar nebula. The pressure in this inner disk atmosphere was mainly dependant on the accretion flow rate onto the star. High flow rates implied relatively high pressures, which decreased over time as the accretion rate decreased.
In the first hundred thousand years after the formation of the solar nebula, accretional flow gas pressures were high enough to create submicron-sized Refractory Metal Nuggets (RMNs) - the precursors to Calcium Aluminium Inclusions (CAIs). Optimal temperatures and pressures for RMN formation may have occurred between 20,000 to 100,000 years after the formation of the solar nebula. It is possible that conditions were conducive to RMN/CAI formation over an eighty thousand year timescale. The "infall" atmosphere and the condensation of refractory particles within this atmosphere may be observable around the inner disks of other protostellar systems.
The interaction of forces from magnetic fields with the radiation pressure from the proto-Sun and the inner solar accretion disk potentially produced an optical-magnetic trap above and below the inner solar nebula, which provided a relatively stable environment in which the RMNs/proto-CAIs could form and grow. These RMN formation sites only existed during accretion events from the proto-solar disk onto the proto-Sun. As such, the formation and growth time of a particular RMN was dependent on the timescale of its nascent accretion event.

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Solar Nebula
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Title: Supernova-Triggered Molecular Cloud Core Collapse and the Rayleigh-Taylor Fingers that Polluted the Solar Nebula
Authors: Alan P. Boss, Sandra A. Keiser

A supernova is a likely source of short-lived radioisotopes (SLRIs) that were present during the formation of the earliest solar system solids. A suitably thin and dense supernova shock wave may be capable of triggering the self-gravitational collapse of a molecular cloud core while simultaneously injecting SLRIs. Axisymmetric hydrodynamics models have shown that this injection occurs through a number of Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) rings. Here we use the FLASH adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) hydrodynamics code to calculate the first fully three dimensional (3D) models of the triggering and injection process. The axisymmetric RT rings become RT fingers in 3D. While ~ 100 RT fingers appear early in the 3D models, only a few RT fingers are likely to impact the densest portion of the collapsing cloud core. These few RT fingers must then be the source of any SLRI spatial heterogeneity in the solar nebula inferred from isotopic analyses of chondritic meteorites. The models show that SLRI injection efficiencies from a supernova several pc away fall at the lower end of the range estimated for matching SLRI abundances, perhaps putting them more into agreement with recent reassessments of the level of 60Fe present in the solar nebula.

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Solar sibling
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Search for Sun's sibling may help find cousins of Earth life

Astronomers have now focussed their search on not just any life out there in the universe but our distant relatives.
Earth may have seeded life on other planets if an asteroid smacking into Earth sprayed DNA into space, researchers suggest.
Now a team of researchers is searching for siblings of the sun - stars born from the same parent star cluster - whose planets could have been impregnated with Earth life this way.

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