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The Supernova Working Group was re-established at the IAU XXV General Assembly in Sydney, 21 July 2003, sponsored by Commissions 28 (Galaxies) and 47 (Cosmology). Here we report on some of its activities since 2005.
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.
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