Improved Measurement of Solar Neutrinos from the Carbon-Nitrogen-Oxygen Cycle by Borexino and Its Implications for the Standard Solar Model
Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 252701 (2022) – Published 12 December 2022
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“Elemental Accounting of the Solar Interior”.
We present an improved measurement of the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) solar neutrino interaction rate at Earth obtained with the complete Borexino Phase-III dataset. The measured rate, RCNO = 6.7 (-0.8 +2.0) counts/(day×100 tonnes), allows us to exclude the absence of the CNO signal with about 7σ C.L. The correspondent CNO neutrino flux is 6.6 (−0.9 +2.0) × 108 cm−2 s−1, taking into account the neutrino flavor conversion. We use the new CNO measurement to evaluate the C and N abundances in the Sun with respect to the H abundance for the first time with solar neutrinos. Our result of NCN = 5.78 (−1.00 +1.86) × 10−4 displays a ~2σ tension with the “low-metallicity” spectroscopic photospheric measurements. Furthermore, our result used together with the 7Be and 8B solar neutrino fluxes, also measured by Borexino, permits us to disfavor at 3.1σ C.L. the “low-metallicity” standard solar model B16-AGSS09met as an alternative to the “high-metallicity” standard solar model B16-GS98.