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The first direct double neutron star merger detection: Implications for cosmic nucleosynthesis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4163-4996
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Number of Authors: 82018 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 615, article id A132Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context. The astrophysical r-process site where about half of the elements, heavier than iron are produced, has been a puzzle for several decades. Here we discuss the role of one of the leading ideas - neutron star mergers (NSMs) - in the light of the first direct detection of such an event in both gravitational (GW) and electromagnetic (EM) waves. Aims. Our aim is to understand the implications of the first GW/EM observations of a NSM for cosmic nucleosynthesis. Methods. We analyse bolometric and NIR lightcurves of the first detected double NSM and compare them to nuclear reaction network-based macronova models. Results. The slope of the bolometric lightcurve is consistent with the radioactive decay of neutron star ejecta with Y-e less than or similar to 0.3 (but not larger), which provides strong evidence for an r-process origin of the electromagnetic emission. This rules out in particular nickel winds as major source of the emission. We find that the NIR lightcurves can be well fitted either with or without lanthanide-rich ejecta. Our limits on the ejecta mass together with estimated rates directly confirm earlier purely theoretical or indirect observational conclusions that double neutron star mergers are indeed a major site of cosmic nucleosynthesis. If the ejecta mass was typical, NSMs can easily produce all of the estimated Galactic r-process matter, and - depending on the real rate - potentially even more. This could be a hint that the event ejected a particularly large amount of mass, maybe due to a substantial difference between the component masses. This would be compatible with the mass limits obtained from the GW-observation. Conclusions. The recent observations suggests that NSMs are responsible for a broad range of r-process nuclei and that they are at least a major, but likely the dominant r-process site in the Universe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 615, article id A132
Keywords [en]
gravitational waves, nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances, dense matter, radiation mechanisms: general
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159046DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201732117ISI: 000439940700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-159046DiVA, id: diva2:1244839
Available from: 2018-09-03 Created: 2018-09-03 Last updated: 2019-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Rosswog, StephanSollerman, JesperFeindt, UlrichGoobar, Ariel
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)Department of Physics
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