Research ArticleASTRONOMY

Late formation of silicon carbide in type II supernovae

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Science Advances  17 Jan 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 1, eaao1054
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao1054

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Abstract

We have found that individual presolar silicon carbide (SiC) dust grains from supernovae show a positive correlation between 49Ti and 28Si excesses, which is attributed to the radioactive decay of the short-lived (t½ = 330 days) 49V to 49Ti in the inner highly 28Si-rich Si/S zone. The 49V-49Ti chronometer shows that these supernova SiC dust grains formed at least 2 years after their parent stars exploded. This result supports recent dust condensation calculations that predict a delayed formation of carbonaceous and SiC grains in supernovae. The astronomical observation of continuous buildup of dust in supernovae over several years can, therefore, be interpreted as a growing addition of C-rich dust to the dust reservoir in supernovae.

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