EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 420, Number 1, June II 2004
Page(s) L1 - L4
Section Letters
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20040135
Published online 14 May 2004

A&A 420, L1-L4 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20040135


The case against the progenitor's carbon-to-oxygen ratio as a source of peak luminosity variations in type Ia supernovae

F. K. Röpke and W. Hillebrandt

Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85741 Garching, Germany
    e-mail: fritz;wfh@mpa-garching.mpg.de
(Received 17 March 2004 / Accepted 7 April 2004 )

One of the major challenges for theoretical modeling of type Ia supernova explosions is to explain the diversity of these events and the empirically established correlation between their peak luminosity and light curve shape. In the framework of the so-called Chandrasekhar mass models, the progenitor's carbon-to-oxygen ratio has been suggested as a principal source of peak luminosity variations due to a variation in the production of radioactive  56Ni during the explosion. We describe a mechanism resulting from an interplay between nucleosynthesis and turbulent flame evolution which counteracts such an effect. Based on three-dimensional simulations we argue that it is nearly balanced and only minor differences in the amount of synthesized  56Ni with varying carbon mass fraction in the progenitor can be expected. Therefore the progenitor's carbon-to-oxygen ratio is unlikely to account for the observed variations in type Ia supernova luminosity. We discuss possible effects on the calibration of cosmological measurements.

Key words: supernovae: general -- hydrodynamics -- nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances

Offprint request: F. K. Röpke, fritz@mpa-garching.mpg.de

© ESO 2004

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