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Binary Paths to Type Ia Supernovae Explosions: the Highlights

  • Lilia Ferrario (a1)

Abstract

This symposium was focused on the hunt for the progenitors of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Is there a main channel for the production of SNe Ia? If so, are these elusive progenitors single degenerate or double degenerate systems? Although most participants seemed to favor the single degenerate channel, there was no general agreement on the type of binary system at play. An observational puzzle that was highlighted was the apparent paucity of supersoft sources in our Galaxy and also in external galaxies. The single degenerate channel (and as it was pointed out, quite possibly also the double degenerate channel) requires the binary system to pass through a phase of steady nuclear burning. However, the observed number of supersoft sources falls short by a factor of up to 100 in explaining the estimated birth rates of SNe Ia. Thus, are these supersoft sources somehow hidden away and radiating at different wavelengths, or are we missing some important pieces of this puzzle that may lead to the elimination of a certain class of progenitor? Another unanswered question concerns the dependence of SNe Ia luminosities on the age of their host galaxy. Several hypotheses were put forward, but none was singled out as the most likely explanation.

It is fair to say that at the end of the symposium the definitive answer to the vexed progenitor question remained well and truly wide open.

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Binary Paths to Type Ia Supernovae Explosions: the Highlights

  • Lilia Ferrario (a1)

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