New astrophysical S factor for the (15)N(p,gamma)(16)O reaction via the asymptotic normalization coefficient (ANC) method
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The (15)N(p,gamma)(16)O reaction provides a path from the CN cycle to the CNO bi-cycle and CNO tri-cycle. The measured astrophysical factor for this reaction is dominated by resonant capture through two strong J(pi) = 1(-) resonances at E(R) = 312 and 962 keV and direct capture to the ground state. Asymptotic normalization coefficients (ANCs) for the ground and seven excited states in (16)O were extracted from the comparison of experimental differential cross sections for the (15)N((3)He,d)(16)O reaction with distorted-wave Born approximation calculations. Using these ANCs and proton and alpha resonance widths determined from an R-matrix fit to the data from the (15)N(p,alpha)(12)C reaction, we carried out an R-matrix calculation to obtain the astrophysical factor for the (15)N(p,gamma)(16)O reaction. The results indicate that the direct capture contribution was previously overestimated. We find the astrophysical factor to be S(0) = 36.0 +/- 6.0 keV b, which is about a factor of 2 lower than the presently accepted value. We conclude that for every 2200 +/- 300 cycles of the main CN cycle one CN catalyst is lost due to this reaction.