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  1. Abstract

    The stellar cataclysms producing astronomical transients have long been modeled as either a point-like explosion or jet-like engine ignited at the center of a spherically symmetric star. However, many stars are observed, or are expected on theoretical grounds, not to be precisely spherically symmetric, but rather to have a slightly flattened geometry similar to that of an oblate spheroid. Here we present axisymmetric two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations of the dynamics of point-like explosions initiated at the center of an aspherical massive star with a range of oblateness. We refer to these exploding aspherical stars as “ellipsars” in reference to the elliptical shape of the isodensity contours of their progenitors in the two-dimensional axisymmetric case. We find that ellipsars are capable of accelerating expanding rings of relativistic ejecta. which may lead to the production of astronomical transients including low-luminosity gamma-ray bursts, relativistic supernovae, and fast blue optical transients

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