Double detonations of sub-MChCO white dwarfs: Variations in Type Ia supernovae due to different core and He shell masses

Sabrina Gronow*, Christine E. Collins, Stuart A. Sim, Friedrich K. Röpke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
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Sub-Chandrasekhar mass carbon-oxygen white dwarfs with a surface helium shell have been proposed as progenitors of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). If true, the resulting thermonuclear explosions should be able to account for at least some of the range of SNe Ia observables. To study this, we conducted a parameter study based on three-dimensional simulations of double detonations in carbon-oxygen white dwarfs with a helium shell, assuming different core and shell masses. An admixture of carbon to the shell and solar metallicity are included in the models. The hydrodynamic simulations were carried out using the AREPO code. This allowed us to follow the helium shell detonation with high numerical resolution, and this improves the reliability of predicted nucleosynthetic shell detonation yields. The addition of carbon to the shell leads to a lower production of 56Ni, while including solar metallicity increases the production of intermediate mass elements. The production of higher mass elements is further shifted to stable isotopes at solar metallicity. Moreover, we find different core detonation ignition mechanisms depending on the core and shell mass configuration. This has an influence on the ejecta structure. We present the bolometric light curves predicted from our explosion simulations using the Monte Carlo radiative transfer code ARTIS and make comparisons with bolometric SNe Ia data. The bolometric light curves of our models show a range of brightnesses, which is able to account for subluminous to normal brightness SNe Ia. We show the model bolometric width-luminosity relation compared to data for a range of model viewing angles. We find that, on average, our brighter models lie within the observed data. The ejecta asymmetries produce a wide distribution of observables, which might account for outliers in the data. However, the models overestimate the extent of this compared to data. We also find that the bolometric decline rate over 40 days, Δm40(bol), appears systematically faster than data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA155
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Early online date02 Jun 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 02 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsge-meinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – Project-ID 138713538 – SFB 881 (“The Milky Way System”, subproject A10), by the ChETEC COST Action (CA16117), and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OISE-1927130 (IReNA). SG and FKR acknowledge support by the Klaus Tschira Foundation. SG thanks Florian Lach for helpful discussions. NumPy and SciPy (Oliphant 2007), IPython (Pérez & Granger 2007), and Matplotlib (Hunter 2007) were used for data processing and plotting. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing e.V. ( for funding this project by providing computing time on the GCS Supercomputer JUWELS (Jülich Supercomputing Centre 2019) at Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC). This work was performed using the Cambridge Service for Data Driven Discovery (CSD3), part of which is operated by the University of Cambridge Research Computing on behalf of the STFC DiRAC HPC Facility ( The DiRAC component of CSD3 was funded by BEIS capital funding via STFC capital grants ST/P002307/1 and ST/R002452/1 and STFC operations grant ST/R00689X/1. DiRAC is part of the National e-Infrastructure. This research was undertaken with the assistance of resources from the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI Australia), an NCRIS enabled capability supported by the Australian Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© ESO 2021.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Abundances
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical
  • Nuclear reactions
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Radiative transfer
  • Supernovae: general
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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