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  1. Abstract

    We present new observational benchmarks of rapid neutron-capture process (r-process) nucleosynthesis for elements at and between the first (A∼ 80) and second (A∼ 130) peaks. Our analysis is based on archival ultraviolet and optical spectroscopy of eight metal-poor stars with Se (Z= 34) or Te (Z= 52) detections, whoser-process enhancement varies by more than a factor of 30 (−0.22 ≤ [Eu/Fe] ≤ +1.32). We calculate ratios among the abundances of Se, Sr through Mo (38 ≤Z≤ 42), and Te. These benchmarks may offer a new empirical alternative to the predicted solar systemr-process residual pattern. The Te abundances in these stars correlate more closely with the lighterr-process elements than the heavier ones, contradicting and superseding previous findings. The small star-to-star dispersion among the abundances of Se, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, and Te (≤0.13 dex, or 26%) matches that observed among the abundances of the lanthanides and thirdr-process-peak elements. The concept ofr-process universality that is recognized among the lanthanide and third-peak elements inr-process-enhanced stars may also apply to Se, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, and Te, provided the overall abundances of the lighterr-process elements are scaled independently of the heavier ones. The abundance behavior of the elements Ru through Snmore »(44 ≤Z≤ 50) requires further study. Our results suggest that at least one relatively common source in the early Universe produced a consistent abundance pattern among some elements spanning the first and secondr-process peaks.

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