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Title: SPIRAL INSTABILITY CAN DRIVE THERMONUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS IN BINARY WHITE DWARF MERGERS

Thermonuclear, or Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), originate from the explosion of carbon–oxygen white dwarfs, and serve as standardizable cosmological candles. However, despite their importance, the nature of the progenitor systems that give rise to SNe Ia has not been hitherto elucidated. Observational evidence favors the double-degenerate channel in which merging white dwarf binaries lead to SNe Ia. Furthermore, significant discrepancies exist between observations and theory, and to date, there has been no self-consistent merger model that yields a SNe Ia. Here we show that a spiral mode instability in the accretion disk formed during a binary white dwarf merger leads to a detonation on a dynamical timescale. This mechanism sheds light on how white dwarf mergers may frequently yield SNe Ia.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02740 (United States)
  2. Departament de Física Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades, 5, E-08860 Castelldefels (Spain)
  3. Department of Physics, Broida Hall, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106–9530 (United States)
  4. School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364257
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 800; Journal Issue: 1; 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; CARBON; HYDRODYNAMICS; OXYGEN; SUPERNOVAE; THERMONUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; VISIBLE RADIATION; WHITE DWARF STARS