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The Astrophysical Journal


The American Astronomical Society


We calculate implications of the idea developed by Burbidge et al. that the nearly exponential decrease after the (irst 100 days of the light-curves of Type i supernovae is due to nuclear energy released by the spontaneous fission of Cf354. Uncertainty of the correctness of the Cf-hypothesis qualifies any interpretation of (1) supernovae light-curves, (2) the location and mechanism of heavy-element nucleosynthesis by rapid neutron captures, and (3) the present-day energy balance in supernova remnants We demonstrate that, if the Cf-hypothesis is correct, the Crab Nebula presently has a radioactive energy input of 1 2 X 1030 ergs/sec, of which amount 92 per cent is in the form of kinetic energy of heavy ions (5-6-MeV alphaparticles and 60-140-MeV fission fragments). That much energy would be significantly related to observed properties of the nebula. An experimental test of the Cf-hypothesis may be made by searching for gamma-ray lines associated with transbismuth radioactivity The anticipated line spectrum is complex The strongest line flux is 9 7 X 10-0 from the Crab for the 390-keV line of Cf140. Good angular and energy resolution will be required to resolve the lines from the sky backgiound.