AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 62. Dwarf Novae and Other Cataclysmic Variables
Display, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[62.10] The Effect of New Nuclear Reaction Rates on Simulations of the Nova Outburst

S. Starrfield (ASU), C. Iliadis (UNC), J. W. Truran (Chicago), M. Wiescher (Notre Dame), W. M. Sparks (LANL)

Classical novae participate in the cycle of Galactic chemical evolution in which grains and metal enriched gas in their ejecta, supplementing those of supernovae, AGB stars, and WR stars, are a source of heavy elements for the ISM. The mean mass returned by a nova outburst to the ISM probably exceeds ~2\times 10-4 M\odot. Using the observed nova rate of 35±11 per year in our Galaxy, it follows that novae introduce more than ~7\times 10-3 M\odot yr-1 of processed matter into the ISM. It is likely, however, that novae ejecta are more massive than believed, and this value is a lower limit. Novae are expected to be the major source of 15N and 17O in the Galaxy and to contribute to the abundances of other isotopes in this atomic mass range. They may also be an important contributor to the abundance of 26Al. In order to understand better their contributions to galactic chemical evolution, we have begun a series of studies with the latest nuclear reaction rate libraries. We report both on how these new rates affect the properties of the outburst and, in addition, how they change the predictions of the contributions of novae to Galactic chemical evolution. We gratefully acknowledge partial support to our various institutions from NSF, NASA, and the DOE.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: starrfield@asu.edu

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