Journal Article

Delay times and rates for Type Ia supernovae and thermonuclear explosions from double-detonation sub-Chandrasekhar mass models

A. J. Ruiter, K. Belczynski, S. A. Sim, W. Hillebrandt, C. L. Fryer, M. Fink and M. Kromer

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 417, issue 1, pages 408-419
Published in print October 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19276.x
Delay times and rates for Type Ia supernovae and thermonuclear explosions from double-detonation sub-Chandrasekhar mass models

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We present theoretical delay times and rates of thermonuclear explosions that are thought to produce Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), including the double-detonation sub-Chandrasekhar mass model, using the population synthesis binary evolution code startrack. If detonations of sub-Chandrasekhar mass carbon–oxygen white dwarfs following a detonation in an accumulated layer of helium on the white dwarf’s surface (‘double-detonation’ models) are able to produce thermonuclear explosions which are characteristically similar to those of SNe Ia, then these sub-Chandrasekhar mass explosions may account for at least some substantial fraction of the observed SN Ia rate. Regardless of whether all double-detonations look like ‘normal’ SNe Ia, in any case the explosions are expected to be bright and thus potentially detectable. Additionally, we find that the delay time distribution of double-detonation sub-Chandrasekhar mass SNe Ia can be divided into two distinct formation channels: the ‘prompt’ helium-star channel with delay times <500 Myr (13 per cent of all sub-Chandras), and the ‘delayed’ double white dwarf channel, with delay times ≳ 800 Myr spanning up to a Hubble time (87 per cent). These findings coincide with recent observationally derived delay time distributions which have revealed that a large number of SNe Ia are prompt with delay times <500 Myr, while a significant fraction also have delay times spanning ∼1 Gyr to a Hubble time.

Keywords: binaries: close; stars: evolution; supernovae: general; white dwarfs

Journal Article.  11590 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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