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Astron. Astrophys. 346, 329-339 (1999)

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Spallative nucleosynthesis in supernova remnants

I. Analytical estimates

Etienne Parizot and Luke Drury

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland (parizot; ld@cp.dias.ie)

Received 30 November 1998 / Accepted 21 January 1999


Spallative nucleosynthesis is thought to be the only process capable of producing significant amount of Beryllium (Be) in the universe. Therefore, both energetic particles (EPs) and nuclei to be spalled (most efficiently C, N and O nuclei in this case) are required, which indicates that supernovae (SNe) may be directly involved in the synthesis of the Be nuclei observed in the halo stars of the Galaxy. We apply current knowledge relating to supernova remnant (SNR) evolution and particle shock acceleration to calculate the total Be yield associated with a SN explosion in the interstellar medium, focusing on the first stages of Galactic chemical evolution (i.e. when metallicity [FORMULA]). We show that dynamical aspects must be taken into account carefully, and present analytical calculations of the spallation reactions induced by the EPs accelerated at both the forward and the reverse shocks following the SN explosion. Our results show that the production of Be in the early Galaxy is still poorly understood, and probably implies either selective acceleration processes (greatly favouring CNO acceleration), reconsideration of the observational data (notably the O vs Fe correlation), or even new energy sources.

Key words: acceleration of particles – nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances – ISM: supernova remnants – Galaxy: abundances

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: May 6, 1999