Type~Ia Thermonuclear Supernovae

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Session 28 -- Mechanisms of Supernova Explosions
Oral presentation, Monday, 9, 1995, 10:00am - 11:30am

[28.01] Type~Ia Thermonuclear Supernovae

A. Khokhlov (Astronomy Dept., University of Texas at Austin)

Type~Ia supernovae form a rather homogeneous class of bright objects well suited to be extragalactic distance indicators. But the homogeneity of SNIa's is not perfect. Some events deviate from ``normality'' both photometrically and spectroscopically. These deviations may be important clues to the explosion mechanism, and to the nature of the SNIa progenitors.

Type~Ia supernovae appear to be thermonuclear explosions of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. The explosion may involve turbulent subsonic burning -- deflagration, supersonic burning -- detonation, or both. Physics, including multi-dimensional aspects, of the thermonuclear explosion will be discussed. The delayed detonation mechanism of the explosion, in which a subsonic deflagration becomes a supersonic detonation, give adequate kinetic energy and a range of nickel mass to account for both normal and subluminous Type~Ia events.

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