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


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.


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arnett, W. D.: 1973,Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 11, 73.Google Scholar
  2. Arnett, W. D.: 1978,Astrophys. J. 219, 1008.Google Scholar
  3. Arnett, W. D. and Clayton, D. D.: 1970,Nature 227, 780.Google Scholar
  4. Black, D. C.: 1972,Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 36, 377.Google Scholar
  5. Cameron, A. G. W. and Truran, J. W.: 1977,Icarus 30, 447.Google Scholar
  6. Cernuschi, F., Marsicano, F. and Codina, S.: 1967,Ann. d'Astrophys. 30, 1039.Google Scholar
  7. Clayton, D. D.: 1968,Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Clayton, D. D.: 1975a,Astrophys. J. 199, 765.Google Scholar
  9. Clayton, D. D.: 1975b,Nature 257, 36.Google Scholar
  10. Clayton, D. D.: 1977a,Icarus 32, 255.Google Scholar
  11. Clayton, D. D.: 1977b,Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 35, 398.Google Scholar
  12. Clayton, D. D.: 1977c,Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 36, 381.Google Scholar
  13. Clayton, D. D.: 1978a,Moon and Planets 19, 109.Google Scholar
  14. Clayton, D. D.: 1978b,Astrophys. J. 224, 1007.Google Scholar
  15. Clayton, D. D. and Hoyle, F.: 1976,Astrophys. J. 203, 490.Google Scholar
  16. Clayton, D. D. and Ramadurai, S.: 1977,Nature 265, 427.Google Scholar
  17. Clayton, D. D. and Wickramasinghe, N. C.: 1976,Astrophys. Space Sci. 42, 463.Google Scholar
  18. Clayton, D. D. and Woosley, S. E.: 1974,Revs. Mod. Phys. 46, 755.Google Scholar
  19. Clayton, R. N., Grossman, L. and Mayeda, T. K.: 1973,Science 182, 485.Google Scholar
  20. Donn, B.: 1976,Mem. Soc. Roy. Sci. Liege 11, 499.Google Scholar
  21. Draine, B. T. and Salpeter, E. E.: 1977,J. Chem. Phys. 67, 2230.Google Scholar
  22. Falk, S. W. and Arnett, W. D.: 1977,Astrophys. J. Suppl. 33, 515.Google Scholar
  23. Falk, S., Lattimer, J. M. and Margolis, S. H.: 1977,Nature 270, 700.Google Scholar
  24. Field, G. B.: 1974,Astrophys. J. 187, 453.Google Scholar
  25. Gallagher, J. S.: 1977,Astron. J. 82, 209.Google Scholar
  26. Gallagher, J. S. and Code, A. D.: 1974,Astrophys. J. 189, 303.Google Scholar
  27. Geisel, S., Kleinmann, D. E. and Low, F. J.: 1970,Astrophys. J. Lett. 161, L101.Google Scholar
  28. Grossman, L. and Larimer, J. W.: 1974,Revs. Geophys. Space Sci. 12, 71.Google Scholar
  29. Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, N. C.: 1970,Nature 226, 62.Google Scholar
  30. Lattimer, J. M., Schramm, D. N. and Grossman, L.: 1978,Astrophys. J. 219, 230.Google Scholar
  31. Reeves, H.: 1972,Astron. Astrophys. 19, 215.Google Scholar
  32. Salpeter, E. E.: 1977,Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 15, 267.Google Scholar
  33. Starrfield, S., Truran, J. W. and Sparks, W. M.: 1978,Astrophys. J. 226, 186.Google Scholar
  34. Weaver, T. A., Zimmerman, G. B. and Woosley, S. E.: 1978,Astrophys. J. 225, 1021.Google Scholar

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.

Personalised recommendations