Solar neutrinos and solar accretion of interstellar matter

Abstract

McCREA1 has recalled the suggestions2,3 that the gravitational energy released by material accreted by the Sun from interstellar clouds could trigger the onset of terrestrial Ice Ages. The purpose of this communication is to point out that if the Hoyle–Lyttleton mass accretion rate applies, this accretion is sufficient to enhance the surface heavy element abundances of the Sun and other solar–type stars. The enhancement may be sufficient to allow the construction of consistent solar models with an interior heavy element abundance significantly lower than the observed surface abundance. This condition lowers the predicted solar neutrino flux4. Joss5 has suggested that a similar enhancement of surface abundances might occur by accretion of planetesimals left over after formation of the Solar System. Both mechanisms may occur, thereby increasing the effect.

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