New estimates of the contribution of Wolf-Rayet stellar winds to the Galactic 26Al

Astronomy and Astrophysics (Impact Factor: 5.08). 01/2005; DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041757
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT 12 pages, 8 figures.-- arXiv:0409580 astro-ph pre-print supplied.-- Final full-text version of the paper available at: SIMBAD Objects associated to the paper available at: We present new yields of 26Al from Wolf-Rayet stellar winds based on rotating stellar models which account well for numerous observed properties of massive stars. We study the impacts on the yields of a change of initial mass, metallicity and initial rotation velocity. We also consider the effects of a change of mass loss rates during the Wolf-Rayet phase. We show that for surface rotation velocities during the core H-burning phase matching to the observed ones, the quantity of 26Al ejected by a star of a given initial mass and metallicity is roughly doubled when the effects of rotation are taken into account. The metallicity dependence of the yield is, on the other hand, very similar to that obtained from non-rotating models. We estimate that at least about 20% to 50% (e.g. ∼0.6-1.4 M_O) of the live 26Al detected in the Milky-Way originates from Wolf-Rayet stellar winds. We show the importance of a good knowledge of the present metallicity gradient and star formation rate in our galaxy for modeling both the variation of the 26Al surface density with the galactocentric distance and the global contribution of the Wolf-Rayet stellar winds to the present galactic mass of 26Al. A. Palacios acknowledges financial support from ESA PRODEX fellowship no 90069. Peer reviewed

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    ABSTRACT: Context. The Cygnus region harbours a huge complex of massive stars at a distance of 1.0-2.0 kpc from us. About 170 O stars are distributed over several OB associations, among which the Cyg OB2 cluster is by far the most important with about 100-120 O stars. These massive stars inject large quantities of radioactive nuclei into the interstellar medium, such as 26Al and 60Fe, and their gamma-ray line decay signals can provide insight into the physics of massive stars and core-collapse supernovae. Aims: Past studies of the nucleosynthesis activity of Cygnus have concluded that the level of 26Al decay emission as deduced from CGRO/COMPTEL observations was a factor 2-3 above the predictions based on the theoretical yields available at that time and on the observed stellar content of the Cygnus region. We reevaluate the situation from new measurements of the gamma-ray decay fluxes with INTEGRAL/SPI (presented in a previous paper) and new predictions based on recently improved stellar models. Methods: We built a grid of nucleosynthesis yields from recent models of massive stars. Compared to previous works, our data include some of the effects of stellar rotation for the higher mass stars and a coherent estimate of the contribution from SNIb/c. We then developed a population synthesis code to predict the nucleosynthesis activity and corresponding decay fluxes of a given stellar population of massive stars. Results: The observed decay fluxes from the Cygnus complex are found to be consistent with the values predicted by population synthesis at solar metallicity; and yet, when extrapolated to the possible subsolar metallicity of the Cygnus complex, our predictions fail to account for the INTEGRAL/SPI measurements. The observed extent of the 1809 keV emission from Cygnus is found to be consistent with the result of a numerical simulation of the diffusion of 26Al inside the superbubble blown by Cyg OB2. Conclusions: Our work indicates that the past dilemma regarding the gamma-ray line emission from Cygnus resulted from an overestimate of the 1809 keV flux of the Cygnus complex, combined with an underestimate of the nucleosynthesis yields. Our results illustrate the importance of stellar rotation and SNIb/c in the nucleosynthesis of 26Al and 60Fe. The effects of binarity and metallicity may also be necessary to account for the observations satisfactorily.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2010; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We developed a new population synthesis code for groups of massive stars, where we model the emission of different forms of energy and matter from the stars of the association. In particular, the ejection of the two radioactive isotopes 26Al and 60Fe is followed, as well as the emission of hydrogen ionizing photons, and the kinetic energy of the stellar winds and supernova explosions. We investigate various alternative astrophysical inputs and the resulting output sensitivities, especially effects due to the inclusion of rotation in stellar models. As the aim of the code is the application to relatively small populations of massive stars, special care is taken to address their statistical properties. Our code incorporates both analytical statistical methods applicable to small populations, as well as extensive Monte Carlo simulations. We find that the inclusion of rotation in the stellar models has a large impact on the interactions between OB associations and their surrounding interstellar medium. The emission of 26Al in the stellar winds is strongly enhanced, compared to non-rotating models with the same mass-loss prescription. This compensates the recent reductions in the estimates of mass-loss rates of massive stars due to the effects of clumping. Despite the lower mass-loss rates, the power of the winds is actually enhanced for rotating stellar models. The supernova power (kinetic energy of their ejecta) is decreased due to longer lifetimes of rotating stars, and therefore the wind power dominates over supernova power for the first 6 Myr after a burst of star-formation. For populations typical of nearby star-forming regions, the statistical uncertainties are large and clearly non-Gaussian. Comment: Accepted by A&A, 12 pages
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2009; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our understanding of stellar evolution and the final explosive endpoints such as supernovae or hypernovae or gamma-ray bursts relies on the combination of (a) (magneto-)hydrodynamics, (b) energy generation due to nuclear reactions accomanying composition changes, (c) radiation transport, (d) thermodynamic properties (such as the equation of state of stellar matter).
    09/2010: pages 153-231;