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The diverse origins of neutron-capture elements in the metal-poor star HD 94028 : possible detection of products of i-process nucleosynthesis

Pignatari, Marco; Herwig, Falk; Karakas, Amanda I.; Roederer, Ian U.


Ian U. Roederer

Amanda I. Karakas

Falk Herwig


We present a detailed analysis of the composition and nucleosynthetic origins of the heavy elements in the metal-poor ([Fe/H] = −1.62 ± 0.09) star HD 94028. Previous studies revealed that this star is mildly enhanced in elements produced by the slow neutron-capture process (s process; e.g., [Pb/Fe] = +0.79 ± 0.32) and rapid neutron-capture process (r process; e.g., [Eu/Fe] = +0.22 ± 0.12), including unusually large molybdenum ([Mo/Fe] = +0.97 ± 0.16) and ruthenium ([Ru/Fe] = +0.69 ± 0.17) enhancements. However, this star is not enhanced in carbon ([C/Fe] = −0.06 ± 0.19). We analyze an archival near-ultraviolet spectrum of HD 94028, collected using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope, and other archival optical spectra collected from ground-based telescopes. We report abundances or upper limits derived from 64 species of 56 elements. We compare these observations with s-process yields from low-metallicity AGB evolution and nucleosynthesis models. No combination of s- and r-process patterns can adequately reproduce the observed abundances, including the super-solar [As/Ge] ratio (+0.99 ± 0.23) and the enhanced [Mo/Fe] and [Ru/Fe] ratios. We can fit these features when including an additional contribution from the intermediate neutron-capture process (i process), which perhaps operated through the ingestion of H in He-burning convective regions in massive stars, super-AGB stars, or low-mass AGB stars. Currently, only the i process appears capable of consistently producing the super-solar [As/Ge] ratios and ratios among neighboring heavy elements found in HD 94028. Other metal-poor stars also show enhanced [As/Ge] ratios, hinting that operation of the i process may have been common in the early Galaxy.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 10, 2016
Journal Astrophysical journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 821
Issue 1
Article Number ARTN 37
Pages 37
Keywords I-process nucleosynthesis, Metal-poor stars
Publisher URL;jsessionid=6019D150AAB7EB6CCC0B0EAA2988A39D.c2
Copyright Statement © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Astrophysical journal, 2016, v.821, issue 1


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