Toward realistic progenitors of core-collapse supernovae

W. David Arnett, Casey Meakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamical simulations of progenitor evolution of a 23 M star, close to core collapse (in ∼1 hr in one dimension (1D)), with simultaneously active C, Ne, O, and Si burning shells, are presented and contrasted to existing 1D models (which are forced to be quasi-static). Pronounced asymmetries and strong dynamical interactions between shells are seen in 2D. Although instigated by turbulence, the dynamic behavior proceeds to sufficiently large amplitudes that it couples to the nuclear burning. Dramatic growth of low-order modes is seen as well as large deviations from spherical symmetry in the burning shells. The vigorous dynamics is more violent than that seen in earlier burning stages in the three-dimensional (3D) simulations of a single cell in the oxygen burning shell, or in 2D simulations not including an active Si shell. Linear perturbative analysis does not capture the chaotic behavior of turbulence (e.g., strange attractors such as that discovered by Lorenz), and therefore badly underestimates the vigor of the instability. The limitations of 1D and 2D models are discussed in detail. The 2D models, although flawed geometrically, represent a more realistic treatment of the relevant dynamics than existing 1D models, and present a dramatically different view of the stages of evolution prior to collapse. Implications for interpretation of SN1987A, abundances in young supernova remnants, pre-collapse outbursts, progenitor structure, neutron star kicks, and fallback are outlined. While 2D simulations provide new qualitative insight, fully 3D simulations are needed for a quantitative understanding of this stage of stellar evolution. The necessary properties of such simulations are delineated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number78
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume733
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

Keywords

  • convection
  • hydrodynamics
  • nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • stars: massive
  • supernovae: general
  • turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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