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  1. Abstract Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) may originate from a wide variety of explosion scenarios and progenitor channels. They exhibit a factor of ≈10 difference in brightness and thus a differentiation in the mass of 56 Ni → 56 Co → 56 Fe. We present a study on the fate of positrons within SNe Ia in order to evaluate their escape fractions and energy spectra. Our detailed Monte Carlo transport simulations for positrons and γ -rays include both β + decay of 56 Co and pair production. We simulate a wide variety of explosion scenarios, including the explosion of white dwarfs (WDs) close to the Chandrasekhar mass ( M Ch ), He-triggered explosions of sub- M Ch WDs, and dynamical mergers of two WDs. For each model, we study the influence of the size and morphology of the progenitor magnetic field between 1 and 10 13 G. Population synthesis based on the observed brightness distribution of SNe Ia was used to estimate the overall contributions to Galactic positrons due to escape from SNe Ia. We find that this is dominated by SNe Ia of normal brightness, where variations in the distribution of emitted positrons are small. We estimate a total SNe Ia contribution to Galactic positrons of <2% and, depending on the magnetic field morphology, <6–20% for M Ch and sub- M Ch , respectively. 
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  2. Abstract The radioisotope 26 Al is a key observable for nucleosynthesis in the Galaxy and the environment of the early Solar System. To properly interpret the large variety of astronomical and meteoritic data, it is crucial to understand both the nuclear reactions involved in the production of 26 Al in the relevant stellar sites and the physics of such sites. These range from the winds of low- and intermediate-mass asymptotic giant branch stars; to massive and very massive stars, both their Wolf–Rayet winds and their final core-collapse supernovae (CCSN); and the ejecta from novae, the explosions that occur on the surface of a white dwarf accreting material from a stellar companion. Several reactions affect the production of 26 Al in these astrophysical objects, including (but not limited to) 25 Mg( p , γ ) 26 Al, 26 Al( p , γ ) 27 Si, and 26 Al( n , p / α ). Extensive experimental effort has been spent during recent years to improve our understanding of such key reactions. Here we present a summary of the astrophysical motivation for the study of 26 Al, a review of its production in the different stellar sites, and a timely evaluation of the currently available nuclear data. We also provide recommendations for the nuclear input into stellar models and suggest relevant, future experimental work. 
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  3. Abstract The cosmic evolution of the chemical elements from the Big Bang to the present time is driven by nuclear fusion reactions inside stars and stellar explosions. A cycle of matter recurrently re-processes metal-enriched stellar ejecta into the next generation of stars. The study of cosmic nucleosynthesis and this matter cycle requires the understanding of the physics of nuclear reactions, of the conditions at which the nuclear reactions are activated inside the stars and stellar explosions, of the stellar ejection mechanisms through winds and explosions, and of the transport of the ejecta towards the next cycle, from hot plasma to cold, star-forming gas. Due to the long timescales of stellar evolution, and because of the infrequent occurrence of stellar explosions, observational studies are challenging, as they have biases in time and space as well as different sensitivities related to the various astronomical methods. Here, we describe in detail the astrophysical and nuclear-physical processes involved in creating two radioactive isotopes useful in such studies, $^{26}\mathrm{Al}$ and $^{60}\mathrm{Fe}$ . Due to their radioactive lifetime of the order of a million years, these isotopes are suitable to characterise simultaneously the processes of nuclear fusion reactions and of interstellar transport. We describe and discuss the nuclear reactions involved in the production and destruction of $^{26}\mathrm{Al}$ and $^{60}\mathrm{Fe}$ , the key characteristics of the stellar sites of their nucleosynthesis and their interstellar journey after ejection from the nucleosynthesis sites. This allows us to connect the theoretical astrophysical aspects to the variety of astronomical messengers presented here, from stardust and cosmic-ray composition measurements, through observation of $\gamma$ rays produced by radioactivity, to material deposited in deep-sea ocean crusts and to the inferred composition of the first solids that have formed in the Solar System. We show that considering measurements of the isotopic ratio of $^{26}\mathrm{Al}$ to $^{60}\mathrm{Fe}$ eliminate some of the unknowns when interpreting astronomical results, and discuss the lessons learned from these two isotopes on cosmic chemical evolution. This review paper has emerged from an ISSI-BJ Team project in 2017–2019, bringing together nuclear physicists, astronomers, and astrophysicists in this inter-disciplinary discussion. 
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