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Accreting White Dwarfs and type Ia Supernovae

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 April 2016

Mario Livio
Affiliation:
Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
David Branch
Affiliation:
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
L. R. Yungelson
Affiliation:
Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Acadamy of Sciences, 48 Pyatnitskaya Str., 109017 Moscow, Russia
Francesca Boffi
Affiliation:
Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
E. Baron
Affiliation:
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
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Abstract

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The question of the possible progenitors of supernovae Type la (SNe la) is examined. It is argued that SNe la are thermonuclear explosions of accreting C-O white dwarfs. The existing observational evidence favors somewhat models in which the exploding star ignites carbon upon reaching the Chandrasekhar mass. A careful examination of all the potential progenitor classes reveals that when realization frequencies are combined with a variety of observational charcteristics, no single class emerges as containing the obvious progenitors. It is argued that coalescing white dwarfs or supersoft X-ray sources are the most likely progenitor systems. A few critical observations which could help identify the progenitors unambiguously are discussed.

Type
Supernovae & Supersoft X-Ray Sources
Copyright
Copyright © Kluwer 1996

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