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Title: Dynamical He Flashes in Double White Dwarf Binaries

The detonation of an overlying helium layer on a 0.8–1.1Mcarbon–oxygen (CO) white dwarf (WD) can detonate the CO WD and create a thermonuclear supernova (SN). Many authors have recently shown that when the mass of the He layer is low (≲0.03M), the ashes from its detonation minimally impact the spectra and light curve from the CO detonation, allowing the explosion to appear remarkably similar to Type Ia SNe. These new insights motivate our investigation of dynamical He shell burning and our search for a binary scenario that stably accumulates thermally unstable He shells in the 0.01–0.08Mrange, thick enough to detonate, but also often thin enough for minimal impact on the observables. We first show that our improved nonadiabatic evolution of convective He shell burning in this range of shell mass leads to conditions ripe for a He detonation. We also find that a stable mass transfer scenario with a high-entropy He WD donor of mass 0.15–0.25Myields the He shell masses needed to achieve the double detonations. This scenario also predicts that the surviving He donor leaves with a spatial velocity consistent with the unusual runaway object, D6-2. We find that hot He WD donors originate in common-envelope events when a 1.3–2.0Mstar fills its Roche lobe at the base of the red giant branch at orbital periods of 1–10 days with the CO WD.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Article No. 28
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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