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Title: NUCLEAR MIXING METERS FOR CLASSICAL NOVAE

Abstract

Classical novae are caused by mass transfer episodes from a main-sequence star onto a white dwarf via Roche lobe overflow. This material possesses angular momentum and forms an accretion disk around the white dwarf. Ultimately, a fraction of this material spirals in and piles up on the white dwarf surface under electron-degenerate conditions. The subsequently occurring thermonuclear runaway reaches hundreds of megakelvin and explosively ejects matter into the interstellar medium. The exact peak temperature strongly depends on the underlying white dwarf mass, the accreted mass and metallicity, and the initial white dwarf luminosity. Observations of elemental abundance enrichments in these classical nova events imply that the ejected matter consists not only of processed solar material from the main-sequence partner but also of material from the outer layers of the underlying white dwarf. This indicates that white dwarf and accreted matter mix prior to the thermonuclear runaway. The processes by which this mixing occurs require further investigation to be understood. In this work, we analyze elemental abundances ejected from hydrodynamic nova models in search of elemental abundance ratios that are useful indicators of the total amount of mixing. We identify the abundance ratios ΣCNO/H, Ne/H, Mg/H, Al/H, and Si/H as usefulmore » mixing meters in ONe novae. The impact of thermonuclear reaction rate uncertainties on the mixing meters is investigated using Monte Carlo post-processing network calculations with temperature-density evolutions of all mass zones computed by the hydrodynamic models. We find that the current uncertainties in the {sup 30}P(p, γ){sup 31}S rate influence the Si/H abundance ratio, but overall the mixing meters found here are robust against nuclear physics uncertainties. A comparison of our results with observations of ONe novae provides strong constraints for classical nova models.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3255 (United States)
  2. Departament de Física i Enginyeria Nuclear, EUETIB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, E-08036 Barcelona (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270586
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 777; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; ASTROPHYSICS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DWARF STARS; ELECTRONS; ELEMENT ABUNDANCE; INTERSTELLAR SPACE; LIMITING VALUES; MAIN SEQUENCE STARS; MASS TRANSFER; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NOVA MODEL; NOVAE; PHOSPHORUS 30 TARGET; PROTON REACTIONS; ROCHE EQUIPOTENTIALS; STAR EVOLUTION; SULFUR 31; THERMONUCLEAR REACTIONS

Citation Formats

Kelly, Keegan J., Iliadis, Christian, Downen, Lori, Champagne, Art, and José, Jordi. NUCLEAR MIXING METERS FOR CLASSICAL NOVAE. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/777/2/130.
Kelly, Keegan J., Iliadis, Christian, Downen, Lori, Champagne, Art, & José, Jordi. NUCLEAR MIXING METERS FOR CLASSICAL NOVAE. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/777/2/130.
Kelly, Keegan J., Iliadis, Christian, Downen, Lori, Champagne, Art, and José, Jordi. Sun . "NUCLEAR MIXING METERS FOR CLASSICAL NOVAE". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/777/2/130.
@article{osti_22270586,
title = {NUCLEAR MIXING METERS FOR CLASSICAL NOVAE},
author = {Kelly, Keegan J. and Iliadis, Christian and Downen, Lori and Champagne, Art and José, Jordi},
abstractNote = {Classical novae are caused by mass transfer episodes from a main-sequence star onto a white dwarf via Roche lobe overflow. This material possesses angular momentum and forms an accretion disk around the white dwarf. Ultimately, a fraction of this material spirals in and piles up on the white dwarf surface under electron-degenerate conditions. The subsequently occurring thermonuclear runaway reaches hundreds of megakelvin and explosively ejects matter into the interstellar medium. The exact peak temperature strongly depends on the underlying white dwarf mass, the accreted mass and metallicity, and the initial white dwarf luminosity. Observations of elemental abundance enrichments in these classical nova events imply that the ejected matter consists not only of processed solar material from the main-sequence partner but also of material from the outer layers of the underlying white dwarf. This indicates that white dwarf and accreted matter mix prior to the thermonuclear runaway. The processes by which this mixing occurs require further investigation to be understood. In this work, we analyze elemental abundances ejected from hydrodynamic nova models in search of elemental abundance ratios that are useful indicators of the total amount of mixing. We identify the abundance ratios ΣCNO/H, Ne/H, Mg/H, Al/H, and Si/H as useful mixing meters in ONe novae. The impact of thermonuclear reaction rate uncertainties on the mixing meters is investigated using Monte Carlo post-processing network calculations with temperature-density evolutions of all mass zones computed by the hydrodynamic models. We find that the current uncertainties in the {sup 30}P(p, γ){sup 31}S rate influence the Si/H abundance ratio, but overall the mixing meters found here are robust against nuclear physics uncertainties. A comparison of our results with observations of ONe novae provides strong constraints for classical nova models.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/777/2/130},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 777,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Nov 10 00:00:00 EST 2013},
month = {Sun Nov 10 00:00:00 EST 2013}
}
  • Classical novae are stellar explosions occurring in binary systems, consisting of a white dwarf and a main-sequence companion. Thermonuclear runaways on the surface of massive white dwarfs, consisting of oxygen and neon, are believed to reach peak temperatures of several hundred million kelvin. These temperatures are strongly correlated with the underlying white dwarf mass. The observational counterparts of such models are likely associated with outbursts that show strong spectral lines of neon in their shells (neon novae). The goals of this work are to investigate how useful elemental abundances are for constraining the peak temperatures achieved during these outbursts andmore » determine how robust 'nova thermometers' are with respect to uncertain nuclear physics input. We present updated observed abundances in neon novae and perform a series of hydrodynamic simulations for several white dwarf masses. We find that the most useful thermometers, N/O, N/Al, O/S, S/Al, O/Na, Na/Al, O/P, and P/Al, are those with the steepest monotonic dependence on peak temperature. The sensitivity of these thermometers to thermonuclear reaction rate variations is explored using post-processing nucleosynthesis simulations. The ratios N/O, N/Al, O/Na, and Na/Al are robust, meaning they are minimally affected by uncertain rates. However, their dependence on peak temperature is relatively weak. The ratios O/S, S/Al, O/P, and P/Al reveal strong dependences on temperature and the poorly known {sup 30}P(p, {gamma}){sup 31}S rate. We compare our model predictions to neon nova observations and obtain the following estimates for the underlying white dwarf masses: 1.34-1.35 M {sub Sun} (V838 Her), 1.18-1.21 M {sub Sun} (V382 Vel), {<=}1.3 M {sub Sun} (V693 CrA), {<=}1.2 M {sub Sun} (LMC 1990 no. 1), and {<=}1.2 M {sub Sun} (QU Vul).« less
  • Cited by 6
  • Recurrent novae (RNe) are cataclysmic variables with two or more nova eruptions within a century. Classical novae (CNe) are similar systems with only one such eruption. Many of the so-called CNe are actually RNe for which only one eruption has been discovered. Since RNe are candidate Type Ia supernova progenitors, it is important to know whether there are enough in our Galaxy to provide the supernova rate, and therefore to know how many RNe are masquerading as CNe. To quantify this, we collected all available information on the light curves and spectra of a Galactic, time-limited sample of 237 CNemore » and the 10 known RNe, as well as exhaustive discovery efficiency records. We recognize RNe as having (1) outburst amplitude smaller than 14.5 – 4.5 × log (t {sub 3}), (2) orbital period >0.6 days, (3) infrared colors of J – H > 0.7 mag and H – K > 0.1 mag, (4) FWHM of Hα > 2000 km s{sup –1}, (5) high excitation lines, such as Fe X or He II near peak, (6) eruption light curves with a plateau, and (7) white dwarf mass greater than 1.2 M {sub ☉}. Using these criteria, we identify V1721 Aql, DE Cir, CP Cru, KT Eri, V838 Her, V2672 Oph, V4160 Sgr, V4643 Sgr, V4739 Sgr, and V477 Sct as strong RN candidates. We evaluate the RN fraction among the known CNe using three methods to get 24% ± 4%, 12% ± 3%, and 35% ± 3%. With roughly a quarter of the 394 known Galactic novae actually being RNe, there should be approximately a hundred such systems masquerading as CNe.« less
  • Of the four classical novae presently identified as having accurately known optical positions with counterparts in the IRAS Point Source Catalog, two correspond to events observed by IRAS within one year of their respective optical maxima; these are noted to be the first classical novae detected at IR wavelengths longer than 20 microns. The novae are Sgr 1982, Mus 1983, FH Ser (1970) and HR Del (1967), of which the latter two were also detected by IRAS. Mus 1983 is noted to have IR emission characteristics that are consistent with a free-free spectrum, as opposed to dust emission. The behaviormore » of this and the Sgr 1982 nova is consistent with a previously suggested correlation between the inferred mass of heated dust and luminosity/speed class. 36 references.« less
  • The IRAS database has been searched for detections of 41 classical novae using coadditions of survey scans; 15 were detected. IRAS temporal observations of novae in outburst are discussed. The observed long-wavelength infrared distributions of DQ Her, and possibly HR Del, can be explained by emission from small (a of about 0.1 microns) dust grains heated by the central object. An alternative explanation for the energy distributions of DQ Her and HR Del is emission from fine-structure lines. FH Ser and LW Ser display energy distributions that have color temperatures much too hot to be due to heating of dustmore » by the central source in any plausible scenario. Line emission is probably the best explanation of their observed energy distributions. The novae NQ Vul and LV Vul have energy distributions that may be contaminated by emission from galactic cirrus. The unusual object PL 1547.3-5612 exhibits an energy distribution that does not resemble those of planetary nebulae or other novae detected in this sample. An IRAS low-resolution spectrum of RR Tel shows the 10-micron silicate emission feature. 49 references.« less