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Open Access Publications from the University of California

SN Ia Explosions from Hybrid Carbon-Oxygen-Neon White Dwarf Progenitors that Have Mixed during Cooling

  • Author(s): Augustine, CN;
  • Willcox, DE;
  • Brooks, J;
  • Townsley, DM;
  • Calder, AC
  • et al.

The creation of "hybrid" white dwarfs, made of a C-O core within an O-Ne shell has been proposed, and studies indicate that ignition in the C-rich central region makes these viable progenitors for thermonuclear (type Ia) supernovae. Recent work found that the C-O core is mixed with the surrounding O-Ne as the white dwarf cools prior to accretion, which results in lower central C fractions in the massive progenitor than previously assumed. To further investigate the efficacy of hybrid white dwarfs as progenitors of thermonuclear supernovae, we performed simulations of thermonuclear supernovae from a new series of hybrid progenitors that include the effects of mixing during cooling. The progenitor white dwarf model was constructed with the one-dimensional stellar evolution code Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) and represented a star evolved through the phase of unstable interior mixing followed by accretion until it reached conditions for the ignition of carbon burning. This MESA model was then mapped to a two-dimensional initial condition for explosions simulated with FLASH. For comparison, similar simulations were performed for a traditional C-O progenitor white dwarf. By comparing the yields of the explosions, we find that, as with earlier studies, the lower C abundance in the hybrid progenitor compared to the traditional C-O progenitor leads to a lower average yield of 56Ni. Although the unmixed hybrid white dwarf showed a similar decrement also in total iron-group yield, the mixed case does not and produces a smaller fraction of iron-group elements in the form of 56Ni. We attribute this to the higher central density required for ignition and the location, center or off-center, of deflagration ignition.

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