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The Astrophysical Journal


IOP Publishing


Data accumulated from 1980 to1987 by the gamma-ray spectrometer on SMM have been searched for evidence of cosmic line emission at 1.275 MeV. This emission would result from the decay of 22Na, which might be produced by classical nova outbursts. No evidence of any 1.275 MeV emission of celestial origin has been found. A limit of 3×10-6M_sun; is placed on the accumulated 22Na from many novae occurring near the Galactic center, and a limit of 7×10-7M_sun; is placed on the mass of 22Na ejected by the closest of the recent neon-rich novae. These limits, while lower than any previous ones, are not in conflict with recent theoretical predictions of the production of 22Na in novae. The product of the frequency and average initial neon abundance of novae of the neon-rich class is constrained by the Galactic center 22Na limit.