Two-dimensional simulations of mixing in classical novae: The effect of white dwarf composition and mass⋆
Physics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN 37831-6354, PO Box 2008 Oak Ridge, USA
2 Departament de Física, EEBE, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, c/Eduard Maristany 10, 08930 Barcelona, Spain
3 Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, c/Gran Capità 2-4, Ed. Nexus-201, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
4 Dipartimento di Física “Enrico Fermi”, Università di Pisa and INFN, Sezione di Pisa, Largo B. Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Accepted: 25 July 2018
Context. Classical novae are explosive phenomena that take place in stellar binary systems. They are powered by mass transfer from a low-mass main sequence star onto either a CO or ONe white dwarf. The material accumulates for 104–105 yr until ignition under degenerate conditions, resulting in a thermonuclear runaway. The nuclear energy released produces peak temperatures of ∼0.1–0.4 GK. During these events, 10−7−10−3 M⊙ enriched in intermediate-mass elements, with respect to solar abundances, are ejected into the interstellar medium. However, the origin of the large metallicity enhancements and the inhomogeneous distribution of chemical species observed in high-resolution spectra of ejected nova shells is not fully understood.
Aims. Recent multidimensional simulations have demonstrated that Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities that operate at the core-envelope interface can naturally produce self-enrichment of the accreted envelope with material from the underlying white dwarf at levels that agree with observations. However, such multidimensional simulations have been performed for a small number of cases and much of the parameter space remains unexplored.
Methods. We investigated the dredge-up, driven by Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, for white dwarf masses in the range 0.8–1.25 M⊙ and different core compositions, that is, CO-rich and ONe-rich substrates. We present a set of five numerical simulations performed in two dimensions aimed at analyzing the possible impact of the white dwarf mass, and composition, on the metallicity enhancement and explosion characteristics.
Results. At the time we stop the simulations, we observe greater mixing (∼30% higher when measured in the same conditions) and more energetic outbursts for ONe-rich substrates than for CO-rich substrates and more massive white dwarfs.
Key words: novae, cataclysmic variables / nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances / hydrodynamics / instabilities / convection / turbulence
The movies associated to Fig. 1 are available at https://www.aanda.org
© ESO 2018