Nucleosynthesis and the nova outburst

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A nova outburst is the consequence of the accretion of hydrogen rich material onto a white dwarf and it can be considered as the largest hydrogen bomb in the Universe. The fuel is supplied by a secondary star in a close binary system while the strong degeneracy of the massive white dwarf acts to contain the gas during the early stages of the explosion. The containment allows the temperature in the nuclear burning region to exceed 10{sup 8}K under all circumstances. As a result a major fraction of CNO nuclei in the envelope are transformed into {beta}{sup +}-unstable nuclei. We ... continued below

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11 p.

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Starrfield, S.; Truran, J.W.; Wiescher, M. & Sparks, W.M. December 31, 1995.

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  • Starrfield, S. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  • Truran, J.W. Chicago Univ., IL (United States). Enrico Fermi Inst.
  • Wiescher, M. Notre Dame Univ., IN (United States). Dept. of Physics
  • Sparks, W.M. Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

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Description

A nova outburst is the consequence of the accretion of hydrogen rich material onto a white dwarf and it can be considered as the largest hydrogen bomb in the Universe. The fuel is supplied by a secondary star in a close binary system while the strong degeneracy of the massive white dwarf acts to contain the gas during the early stages of the explosion. The containment allows the temperature in the nuclear burning region to exceed 10{sup 8}K under all circumstances. As a result a major fraction of CNO nuclei in the envelope are transformed into {beta}{sup +}-unstable nuclei. We discuss the effects of these nuclei on the evolution. Recent observational studies have shown that there are two compositional classes of novae; one which occurs on carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, and a second class that occurs on oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarfs. In this review we will concentrate on the latter explosions since they produce the most interesting nucleosynthesis. We report both on the results of new observational determinations of nova abundances and, in addition, new hydrodynamic calculations that examine the consequences of the accretion process on 1.0M{sub {circle_dot}}, 1.25M{sub {circle_dot}}, and 1.35M{sub {circle_dot}} white dwarfs. Our results show that novae can produce {sup 22}Na, {sup 26}Al, and other intermediate mass nuclei in interesting amounts. We will present the results of new calculations, done with updated nuclear reaction rates and opacities, which exhibit quantitative differences with respect to published work.

Physical Description

11 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE96007251

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  • Astrophysics conference, College Park, MD (United States), 9-11 Oct 1995

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  • Other: DE96007251
  • Report No.: LA-UR--95-4462
  • Report No.: CONF-9510331--1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 206881
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc665984

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  • December 31, 1995

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  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Aug. 8, 2016, 8:51 p.m.

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Starrfield, S.; Truran, J.W.; Wiescher, M. & Sparks, W.M. Nucleosynthesis and the nova outburst, article, December 31, 1995; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc665984/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.