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Beyond Earthly Skies

Dual-Shock Quark Nova

14 Mar 2013, 15:09 UTC
Dual-Shock Quark Nova
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A super-luminous supernova (SLSN) is a class of supernova whose peak luminosity is several times larger than a typical supernova. Mechanisms that can give rise to a SLSN include the explosion of a very massive star in a pair-instability supernova, the interaction of supernova ejecta with circumstellar matter or a dual-shock quark nova (dsQN) event. SN 2006oz is currently the only SLSN known to exhibit a double-humped lightcurve that is consistant with a dsQN model. The lightcurve of SN 2006oz can be explained by a quark nova occurring 6.5 days after a core-collapse supernova explosion. A dsQN event like SN 2006oz is very rare since it is estimated to occur at a rate of 1 in every 10,000 core-collapse supernovae.In a dsQN model, a massive star explodes in normal core-collapse supernova and leaves behind a rapidly-spinning, high-mass neutron star. As the neutron star spins down, its central density gradually increases. This eventually leads to a detonative phase transition known as a quark nova, where the neutron star violently converts into a quark star. During this process, the neutron star’s outer layer is ejected at ultra-relativistic velocities. An enormous amount of kinetic energy is carried away since the quark nova ejecta ...

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