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Title: Pre-explosion Properties of Helium Star Donors to Thermonuclear Supernovae
Abstract Helium star–carbon-oxygen white dwarf (CO WD) binaries are potential single-degenerate progenitor systems of thermonuclear supernovae. Revisiting a set of binary evolution calculations using the stellar evolution code MESA , we refine our previous predictions about which systems can lead to a thermonuclear supernova and then characterize the properties of the helium star donor at the time of explosion. We convert these model properties to near-UV/optical magnitudes assuming a blackbody spectrum and support this approach using a matched stellar atmosphere model. These models will be valuable to compare with pre-explosion imaging for future supernovae, though we emphasize the observational difficulty of detecting extremely blue companions. The pre-explosion source detected in association with SN 2012Z has been interpreted as a helium star binary containing an initially ultra-massive WD in a multiday orbit. However, extending our binary models to initial CO WD masses of up to 1.2 M ⊙ , we find that these systems undergo off-center carbon ignitions and thus are not expected to produce thermonuclear supernovae. This tension suggests that, if SN 2012Z is associated with a helium star–WD binary, then the pre-explosion optical light from the system must be significantly modified by the binary environment and/or the WD does more » not have a carbon-rich interior composition. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1663688
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10321891
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
922
Issue:
2
ISSN:
0004-637X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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