On Neutron Star Mergers as the Source of r-process-enhanced Metal-poor Stars in the Milky Way

Mohammadtaher Safarzadeh, Richard Sarmento, Evan Scannapieco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

We model the history of Galactic r-process enrichment using high-redshift, high-resolution zoom cosmological simulations of a Milky Way-type halo. We assume that all r-process sources are neutron star mergers (NSMs) with a power-law delay time distribution. We model the time to mix pollutants at subgrid scales, which allows us to better compute the properties of metal-poor (MP) and carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars, along with statistics of their r-process-enhanced subclasses. Our simulations underpredict the cumulative ratios of r-process-enhanced MP and CEMP stars (MP-r, CEMP-r) over MP and CEMP stars by about one order of magnitude, even when the minimum coalescence time of the double neutron stars (DNSs), t min, is set to 1 Myr. No r-process-enhanced stars form if t min = 100 Myr. Our results show that even when we adopt the r-process yield estimates observed in GW170817, NSMs by themselves can only explain the observed frequency of r-process-enhanced stars if the birth rate of DNSs per unit mass of stars is boosted to .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume876
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Keywords

  • Galaxy: abundances
  • stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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