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  1. Abstract The study of stellar burning began just over 100 years ago. Nonetheless, we do not yet have a detailed picture of the nucleosynthesis within stars and how nucleosynthesis impacts stellar structure and the remnants of stellar evolution. Achieving this understanding will require precise direct measurements of the nuclear reactions involved. This report summarizes the status of direct measurements for stellar burning, focusing on developments of the last couple of decades, and offering a prospectus of near-future developments.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 25, 2022
  2. Context. Young open clusters (ages of less than 200 Myr) have been observed to exhibit several peculiarities in their chemical compositions. These anomalies include a slightly sub-solar iron content, super-solar abundances of some atomic species (e.g. ionised chromium), and atypical enhancements of [Ba/Fe], with values up to ~0.7 dex. Regarding the behaviour of the other s -process elements like yttrium, zirconium, lanthanum, and cerium, there is general disagreement in the literature: some authors claim that they follow the same trend as barium, while others find solar abundances at all ages. Aims. In this work we expand upon our previous analysismore »of a sample of five young open clusters (IC 2391, IC 2602, IC 4665, NGC 2516, and NGC 2547) and one star-forming region (NGC 2264), with the aim of determining abundances of different neutron-capture elements, mainly Cu  I , Sr  I , Sr  II , Y  II , Zr  II , Ba  II , La  II , and Ce  II . For NGC 2264 and NGC 2547 we present the measurements of these elements for the first time. Methods. We analysed high-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectra of 23 solar-type stars observed within the Gaia -ESO survey. After a careful selection, we derived abundances of isolated and clean lines via spectral synthesis computations and in a strictly differential way with respect to the Sun. Results. We find that our clusters have solar [Cu/Fe] within the uncertainties, while we confirm that [Ba/Fe] is super-solar, with values ranging from +0.22 to +0.64 dex. Our analysis also points to a mild enhancement of Y, with [Y/Fe] ratios covering values between 0 and +0.3 dex. For the other s -process elements we find that [X/Fe] ratios are solar at all ages. Conclusions. It is not possible to reconcile the anomalous behaviour of Ba and Y at young ages with standard stellar yields and Galactic chemical evolution model predictions. We explore different possible scenarios related to the behaviour of spectral lines, from the dependence on the different ionisation stages and the sensitivity to the presence of magnetic fields (through the Landé factor) to the first ionisation potential effect. We also investigate the possibility that they may arise from alterations of the structure of the stellar photosphere due to the increased levels of stellar activity that affect the spectral line formation, and consequently the derived abundances. These effects seem to be stronger in stars at ages of less than ~ 100 Myr. However, we are still unable to explain these enhancements, and the Ba puzzle remains unsolved. With the present study we suggest that other elements, for example Sr, Zr, La, and Ce, might be more reliable tracer of the s -process at young ages, and we strongly encourage further critical observations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. Meteoritic analysis demonstrates that radioactive nuclei heavier than iron were present in the early Solar System. Among them, 129I and 247Cm both have a rapid neutron-capture process (r process) origin and decay on the same timescale (≃ 15.6 Myr). We show that the 129I/247Cm abundance ratio in the early Solar System (438±184) is immune to galactic evolution uncertainties and represents the first direct observational constraint for the properties of the last r-process event that polluted the pre-solar nebula. We investigate the physical conditions of this event using nucleosynthesis calculations and demonstrate that moderately neutron-rich ejecta can produce the observed ratio.more »We conclude that a dominant contribution by exceedingly neutron-rich ejecta is highly disfavoured.« less
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