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Formation of Iron-Core White Dwarfs

30 Apr 2014, 22:00 UTC
Formation of Iron-Core White Dwarfs Flash Centre for Computational Science, University of Chicago.
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Type Ia supernovae are among the most energetic explosions in the universe. They originate from the thermonuclear explosions of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs (WDs). Models of normal Type Ia supernovae involve a sufficiently massive WD accreting material from a companion star. This eventually triggers unstable thermonuclear burning within the WD which transitions to a detonation, subsequently consuming and completely unbinding the WD in a violent supernova explosion. The explosive thermonuclear burning fuses a large fraction of the original carbon-oxygen WD into intermediate-mass elements (IME’s) and iron group elements (IGE’s).Simulation of a thermonuclear flame plume bursting through the surface of a white dwarf. Credit: Flash Centre for Computational Science, University of Chicago.In a study by George C. Jordan et al. (2012), a variant of the Type Ia supernovae is proposed. Here, the thermonuclear burning is too weak to transition to a detonation and does not completely unbind the WD in a supernova explosion. Such an event is known as a failed-detonation supernova and it leaves behind a bound remnant of the original WD. A failed-detonation supernova is characterised by low ejecta expansion velocities, low luminosities and low ejecta-mass. Although the explosive thermonuclear burning process during a failed-detonation supernova can generate more than ...

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