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Title: The 59 Fe (n,γ) 60 Fe Cross Section from the Surrogate Ratio Method and Its Effect on the 60 Fe Nucleosynthesis
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Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
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Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    While modeling the galactic chemical evolution (GCE) of stable elements provides insights to the formation history of the Galaxy and the relative contributions of nucleosynthesis sites, modeling the evolution of short-lived radioisotopes (SLRs) can provide supplementary timing information on recent nucleosynthesis. To study the evolution of SLRs, we need to understand their spatial distribution. Using a three-dimensional GCE model, we investigated the evolution of four SLRs:53Mn,60Fe,182Hf, and244Pu with the aim of explaining detections of recent (within the last ≈1–20 Myr) deposition of live53Mn,60Fe, and244Pu of extrasolar origin into deep-sea reservoirs. We find that core-collapse supernovae are the dominant propagation mechanism of SLRs in the Galaxy. This results in the simultaneous arrival of these four SLRs on Earth, although they could have been produced in different astrophysical sites, which can explain why live extrasolar53Mn,60Fe, and244Pu are found within the same, or similar, layers of deep-sea sediments. We predict that182Hf should also be found in such sediments at similar depths.

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  2. Abstract

    There is a wealth of data on live, undecayed60Fe (t1/2= 2.6 Myr) in deep-sea deposits, the lunar regolith, cosmic rays, and Antarctic snow, which is interpreted as originating from the recent explosions of at least two near-Earth supernovae. We use the60Fe profiles in deep-sea sediments to estimate the timescale of supernova debris deposition beginning ∼3 Myr ago. The available data admits a variety of different profile functions, but in all cases the best-fit60Fe pulse durations are >1.6 Myr when all the data is combined. This timescale far exceeds the ≲0.1 Myr pulse that would be expected if60Fe was entrained in the supernova blast wave plasma. We interpret the long signal duration as evidence that60Fe arrives in the form of supernova dust, whose dynamics are separate from but coupled to the evolution of the blast plasma. In this framework, the >1.6 Myr is that for dust stopping due to drag forces. This scenario is consistent with the simulations in Fry et al. (2020), where the dust is magnetically trapped in supernova remnants and thereby confined around regions of the remnant dominated by supernova ejects, where magnetic fields are low. This picture fits naturally with models of cosmic-ray injection of refractory elements as sputtered supernova dust grains and implies that the recent60Fe detections in cosmic rays complement the fragments of grains that survived to arrive on the Earth and Moon. Finally, we present possible tests for this scenario.

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