The Dominance of the r-Process in Heavy Element Nucleosynthesis within Reticulum II Ultrafaint Dwarf Galaxies

Authors : Okezuonu, Patrick Chinedu; Ogwo, Jemima Ngozi; Nwankwo Ifeanyi Francis; Chibudo, Bernadette C. D.; Nwankwo, Lawrence Chinedu.

Volume/Issue : Volume 8 - 2023, Issue 9 - September

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This study investigates the paramount role of the r-process in heavy element nucleosynthesis within the Reticulum II ultrafaint dwarf galaxies, shedding light on fundamental questions in classical astronomy. We explore the formation of galaxies, probing the influence of mass and density on heavy element creation. Conventionally, supernova explosions were attributed to heavy element formation, prompting us to conduct experiments to examine the feasibility of the r-process and its connection to heavy element abundance in Ret II Ultra-Faint Dwarf (UFDs) galaxies. Through comprehensive citation analysis, our research challenges the prevailing belief in supernovae as the primary mechanism for heavy element production in Reticulum II. Instead, our findings suggest that galaxy mergers and cloud mergers are the dominant drivers of this process. To support our conclusions, we collected data from three additional UFDs for comparative analysis alongside Reticulum II, employing structural and color-magnitude diagrams (CMD). This study conclusively establishes the r-process as the principal mechanism responsible for heavy element nucleosynthesis in Reticulum II, resulting in its elevated luminosity compared to other ultrafaint dwarf galaxies characterized by lower elemental abundances. The heavy elements generated during this process originate from neutron star mergers and r-process nuclear fusion reactions. Consequently, Reticulum II stands out as a unique, outstanding, and brighter ultrafaint dwarf galaxy, with the r-process exclusively governing its chemical reactions, while others predominantly rely on the S and P processes.

Keywords : r-process; heavy element nucleosynthesis; Reticulum II; ultrafaint dwarf galaxies; galaxy mergers


Paper Submission Last Date
31 - December - 2023

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