The r-process alliance: abundance universality among some elements at and between the first and second r-process peaks

I. U. Roederer, J. J. Cowan, M. Pignatari, T. C. Beers, E. A. Den Hartog, R. Ezzeddine, A. Frebel, T. T. Hansen, E. Holmbeck, M. Mumpower, V. M. Placco, C. M. Sakari, R. Surman, N. Vassh

Published ApJ 936 84 (2022)

We present new observational benchmarks of rapid neutron-capture process (r-process) nucleosynthesis for elements at and between the first (A ∼ 80) and second (A ∼ 130) peaks. Our analysis is based on archival ultraviolet and optical spectroscopy of eight metal-poor stars with Se (Z = 34) or Te (Z = 52) detections, whose r-process enhancement varies by more than a factor of 30 (−0.22 ≤ [Eu/Fe] ≤ +1.32). We calculate ratios among the abundances of Se, Sr through Mo (38 ≤ Z ≤ 42), and Te. These benchmarks may offer a new empirical alternative to the predicted solar system r-process residual pattern. The Te abundances in these stars correlate more closely with the lighter r-process elements than the heavier ones, contradicting and superseding previous findings. The small star-to-star dispersion among the abundances of Se, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, and Te (≤ 0.13 dex, or 26%) matches that observed among the abundances of the lanthanides and third r-process-peak elements. The concept of r-process universality that is recognized among the lanthanide and third-peak elements in r-process- enhanced stars may also apply to Se, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, and Te, provided the overall abundances of the lighter r-process elements are scaled independently of the heavier ones. The abundance behavior of the elements Ru through Sn (44 ≤ Z ≤ 50) requires further study. Our results suggest that at least one relatively common source in the early Universe produced a consistent abundance pattern among some elements spanning the first and second r-process peaks.



r-process universality

Contact Me


Matthew Mumpower
Los Alamos National Lab
MS B283
TA-3 Bldg 123
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Office Phone

(505) 667-5671