Mixing of Supernova Ejecta


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Mixing of Supernova Ejecta into Molecular Clouds (2012)

In this paper by Pan et al, we have conduct of high-resolution 3D numerical hydrodynamic simulations that follow the evolution of a single clump of supernova ejecta as it moves into molecular gas. Isotropically exploding ejecta do not penetrate into the molecular cloud or mix with it, but, if cooling is properly accounted for, clumpy ejecta penetrate to distances 1018 cm} and mix effectively with large regions of star-forming molecular gas. In fact, the 2 M of high-metallicity ejecta from a single core-collapse supernova is likely to mix with 3×104 M of molecular gas material as it is collapsing. Thus all stars forming late (5 Myr) in the evolution of an H II region may be contaminated by supernova ejecta at the level 10-4. This level of contamination is consistent with the abundances of short-lived radionuclides and possibly some stable isotopic shifts in the early solar system, and is potentially consistent with the observed variability in stellar elemental abundances. Supernova contamination of forming planetary systems may be a common, universal process.

Cooling timescales
Gas density and concentration
Volume rendering of density evolution
Ejecta delivery distance