EDP Sciences
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Volume 408, Number 2, September III 2003
Page(s) 621 - 649
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030863

A&A 408, 621-649 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030863

Non-spherical core collapse supernovae

I. Neutrino-driven convection, Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, and the formation and propagation of metal clumps
K. Kifonidis1, T. Plewa1, 2, 3, H.-Th. Janka1 and E. Müller1

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 1, 85741 Garching, Germany
2  Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Bartycka 18, 00716 Warsaw, Poland
3  Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes, University of Chicago, 5640 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

(Received 11 February 2003 / Accepted 28 May 2003 )

We have performed two-dimensional simulations of core collapse supernovae that encompass shock revival by neutrino heating, neutrino-driven convection, explosive nucleosynthesis, the growth of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, and the propagation of newly formed metal clumps through the exploding star. A simulation of a type II explosion in a $15~{M_{\odot}}$ blue supergiant progenitor is presented, that confirms our earlier type II models and extends their validity to times as late as 5.5 hours after core bounce. We also study a type Ib-like explosion, by simply removing the hydrogen envelope of the progenitor model. This allows for a first comparison of type II and type Ib evolution. We present evidence that the hydrodynamics of core collapse supernovae beyond shock revival differs markedly from the results of simulations that have followed the Rayleigh-Taylor mixing starting from ad hoc energy deposition schemes to initiate the explosion. We find iron group elements to be synthesized in an anisotropic, dense, low-entropy shell that expands with velocities of ~ $ 17\,000$ km s -1 shortly after shock revival. The growth of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities at the Si/O and (C+O)/He composition interfaces of the progenitor, seeded by the flow-structures resulting from neutrino-driven convection, leads to a fragmentation of this shell into metal-rich "clumps". This fragmentation starts already ~ 20 s after core bounce and is complete within the first few minutes of the explosion. During this time the clumps are slowed down by drag, and by the positive pressure gradient in the unstable layers. However, at $t \approx
300$ s they decouple from the flow and start to propagate ballistically and subsonically through the He core, with the maximum velocities of metals remaining constant at ~ 3500 - 5500 km s -1. This early "clump decoupling" leads to significantly higher $\rm {^{56}Ni}$ velocities at t = 300 s than in one-dimensional models of the explosion, demonstrating that multi-dimensional effects which are at work within the first minutes, and which have been neglected in previous studies (especially in those which dealt with the mixing in type II supernovae), are crucial. Despite comparably high initial maximum nickel velocities in both our type II and our type Ib-like model, we find that there are large differences in the final maximum nickel velocities between both cases. In the "type Ib" model the maximum velocities of metals remain frozen in at ~ 3500 - 5500 km s -1 for $t \geq 300$ s, while in the type II model they drop significantly for t > 1500 s. In the latter case, the massive hydrogen envelope of the progenitor forces the supernova shock to slow down strongly, leaving behind a reverse shock and a dense helium shell (or "wall") below the He/H interface. After penetrating into this dense material the metal-rich clumps possess supersonic speeds, before they are slowed down by drag forces to ~ 1200 km s -1 at a time of 20 000 s post-bounce. While, due to this deceleration, the maximum velocities of iron-group elements in SN 1987 A cannot be reproduced in case of the considered $15\,{M_{\odot}}$ progenitor, the "type Ib" model is in fairly good agreement with observed clump velocities and the amount of mixing inferred for type Ib supernovae. Thus it appears promising for calculations of synthetic spectra and light curves. Furthermore, our simulations indicate that for type Ib explosions the pattern of clump formation in the ejecta is correlated with the structure of the convective pattern prevailing during the shock-revival phase. This might be used to deduce observational constraints for the dynamics during this early phase of the evolution, and the role of neutrino heating in initiating the explosion.

Key words: hydrodynamics -- instabilities -- nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis abundances -- shock waves -- stars: supernovae: general

Offprint request: K. Kifonidis

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