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Title: Spectacular Nucleosynthesis from Early Massive Stars

Stars that formed with an initial mass of over 50Mare very rare today, but they are thought to be more common in the early Universe. The fates of those early, metal-poor, massive stars are highly uncertain. Most are expected to directly collapse to black holes, while some may explode as a result of rotationally powered engines or the pair-creation instability. We present the chemical abundances of J0931+0038, a nearby low-mass star identified in early follow-up of the SDSS-V Milky Way Mapper, which preserves the signature of unusual nucleosynthesis from a massive star in the early Universe. J0931+0038 has a relatively high metallicity ([Fe/H] = −1.76 ± 0.13) but an extreme odd–even abundance pattern, with some of the lowest known abundance ratios of [N/Fe], [Na/Fe], [K/Fe], [Sc/Fe], and [Ba/Fe]. The implication is that a majority of its metals originated in a single extremely metal-poor nucleosynthetic source. An extensive search through nucleosynthesis predictions finds a clear preference for progenitors with initial mass >50M, making J0931+0038 one of the first observational constraints on nucleosynthesis in this mass range. However, the full abundance pattern is not matched by any models in the literature. J0931+0038 thus presents a challenge for the next generation of nucleosynthesis models and motivates the study of high-mass progenitor stars impacted by convection, rotation, jets, and/or binary companions. Though rare, more examples of unusual early nucleosynthesis in metal-poor stars should be found in upcoming large spectroscopic surveys.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
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Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Medium: X Size: Article No. L41
["Article No. L41"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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