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Interstellar shocks and elemental depletions

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The variation in elemental depletions seen in diffuse clouds in the interstellar medium is shown to be consistent with the exposure of grains to weak shocks. Shocks remove a weakly bound layer of amorphous oxide material from refractory cores. Depletions are shown to be the result of the incorporation of elements in refractory cores formed during equilibrium condensation in high temperature sources together with accretion under low (T≪1000K) temperature conditions. Evidence is presented for the high temperature condensation of CaAlTi grains. In addition to refractory CaAlTi particels, a refractory condensate containing 20% of available Mg, 60% of Si and 90% of Fe is inferred from data on depletions. An amorphous layer with a composition (2MgO) (SiO) condenses on these cores.

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Duley, W.W. Interstellar shocks and elemental depletions. Astrophys Space Sci 85, 221–230 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00653444

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  • Oxide
  • Temperature Source
  • Interstellar Medium
  • Oxide Material
  • Amorphous Layer