Leon Kocharov1, Silja Pohjolainen2, Mike J. Reiner3,4, Alexander Mishev5, Haimin Wang6,7, Ilya Usoskin1,5, and Rami Vainio8
Astrophysical Journal Letters 863, L27 Link to Article [DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aad86b]
1National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
2Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
The site of Zn production remains an elusive and challenging problem in astrophysics. A large enhancement of the [Zn/Fe] ratios of very metal-poor stars in the Galactic halo suggests the death of short-lived massive stars, i.e., core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe), as one major site for Zn production. Previous studies have claimed that some specific CCSNe can produce Zn in sufficient quantities. However, it remains unclear which models can withstand the critical test of observations. Using a Zn abundance feature similar to that of r-process elements in faint satellite galaxies, we find evidence that Zn production took place through events that are much rarer than canonical CCSNe. This finding can be unified with the implied decrease in the rate of Zn production with an increasing metallicity for Galactic halo stars, which narrows down the major site of Zn production in the early galaxy to magnetorotational SNe (MR-SNe). On the other hand, in the later phase of galactic evolution, we predict that the major Zn-production site switched from MR-SNe to thermonuclear SNe (SNe Ia). According to this scenario, an accumulation of the contributions from two types of SNe eventually led to the solar isotope composition of Zn, which mainly owes 66,68Zn to MR-SNe and 64Zn to SNe Ia triggered by He-detonation. The requirement of Zn production in SNe Ia sheds a new light on the debate concerning the scenario for SN Ia progenitors, suggesting that a He-detonation model might be one major channel for SNe Ia.