Does a nova, not a supernova, get hot enough that nickel is produced despite its formation by fusion being an endothermic reaction? If nickel is made, does it make it out of the star into the nebula?

All I'm finding is this: Spectral Analysis of Central Stars of Planetary Nebulae which is not a very satisfying read. I'd expect some nickel synthesis even in the core of non-nova stars. there's some equilibrium constant for the reaction after all, but it does not appear to be much talked about.

  • $\begingroup$ Spectroscopy Spectrometry Spectra and Spectrum tags; is there room for some consolidation? In this case you've definitely made the right choice ;-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ @RobJeffries Sorry, It's been hot. Brain misfires. I meant in nova remnants, but was distracted by planetary nebula as I wrote title. It's difficult to see only supernova generating trans-iron nuclei, but I've never actually seen it claimed for lesser explosions. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 6:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ BTW, production of nickel is exothermic. Please see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon-burning_process and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_process And on the topic of synthesis of heavy nuclides in non-supernova processes, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-process $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ @PM2Ring That silicon trick is nice: "silicon-burning ...lasts about one day before being struck by the shock wave ...launched by the core collapse." The s-process, or something like it was what I thouht had to be happening, But © on my last astronomy textbook was 1972, so it wasn't covered. As a chemist, it makes little sense that heavy element production should be limited to supernova. It's not as if the insides of stars have homogeneous energy distribution. Nova, shockwaves etc, should disturb them, room for heavy element production. Be nice if the non-supernova paths got more mention. THX. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 2:13
  • $\begingroup$ The last few alpha processes don't last very long. There is (or was) a timetable hiding somewhere on Wikipedia, but I can't find it. As I mention here, production of nickel occurs for about 5 days in total, things get rather hectic once the shockwave hits. ;) Also see Rob's answer, which says that the s-process can go all the way up to lead. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 14:15


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .