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Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 179–189 | Cite as

Sudden grain nucleation and growth in supernova and nova ejecta

  • Donald D. Clayton
Article

Abstract

The thermal conditions leading to the rapid nucleation and growth of dust in astronomical explosions are examined. The contribution herein to nucleation physics lies only in the clarification of the ambient conditions where it apparently occurs. In both nova and interior shells of supernovae, dust precipitates in gas densities of order of 10−14 g cm−3 a few months after the explosion. The ambient conditions differ widely, however. Supernova condensation occurs in a thermal equilibrium, with photons, ions, electrons and grains having equal temperatures. In novae huge disequilibria exist, with photon and electron temperatures near 5×104 K, photon energy density near 750 K, and forming refractory grains near 1800 K. In neither type of explosion can the condensed matter easily maintain chemical equilibrium with the total system. Interesting isotopic anomalies are trapped in both types of refractory condensate in the interstellar medium. The nova provides the best astronomical laboratory for observing the condensation.

Keywords

Dust Energy Density Photon Energy Ambient Condition Thermal Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald D. Clayton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Space Physics and AstronomyRice UniversityHoustonU.S.A.

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