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Chemical Abundances in Sgr A East: Evidence for a Type Iax Supernova Remnant

Zhou, Ping and Leung, Shing-Chi and Li, Zhiyuan and Nomoto, Ken’ichi and Vink, Jacco and Chen, Yang (2021) Chemical Abundances in Sgr A East: Evidence for a Type Iax Supernova Remnant. Astrophysical Journal, 908 (1). Art. No. 31. ISSN 1538-4357.

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Recent observations have shown a remarkable diversity of observational behaviors and explosion mechanisms in thermonuclear supernovae (SNe). An emerging class of peculiar thermonuclear SNe, called Type Iax, show photometric and spectroscopic behaviors distinct from normal Type Ia. Their origin remains highly controversial, but pure turbulent deflagration of white dwarfs (WDs) has been regarded as the leading formation theory. The large population of Type Iax indicates the existence of unidentified Galactic Type Iax supernova remnants (SNRs). We report evidence that SNR Sgr A East in the Galactic center resulted from a pure turbulent deflagration of a Chandrasekhar-mass carbon–oxygen WD, an explosion mechanism used for Type Iax SNe. Our X-ray spectroscopic study of Sgr A East using 3 Ms of Chandra data shows a low ratio of intermediate-mass elements to Fe and large Mn/Fe and Ni/Fe ratios. This abundance pattern does not accord with the core-collapse or normal Type Ia models. Sgr A East is thus the first Galactic SNR for which a likely Type Iax origin has been proposed and is the nearest target for studying this peculiar class. We compared Sgr A East with the Fe-rich SNRs 3C 397 and W49B, which also have high Mn and Cr abundances and were claimed to result from deflagration-to-detonation explosions of Chandrasekhar-mass WDs (although with disputes). Our study shows that they have distinct abundance patterns. The X-ray spectroscopic studies of thermonuclear SNRs provide observational evidence for the theories that there are diverse explosion channels and various metal outputs for Chandrasekhar-mass WDs.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Zhou, Ping0000-0002-5683-822X
Leung, Shing-Chi0000-0002-4972-3803
Li, Zhiyuan0000-0003-0355-6437
Nomoto, Ken’ichi0000-0001-9553-0685
Vink, Jacco0000-0002-4708-4219
Chen, Yang0000-0002-4753-2798
Additional Information:© 2021 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 June 20; revised 2020 September 8; accepted 2020 September 28; published 2021 February 10. We are grateful to Mark Morris, the anonymous referee, and Boris Gaensicke for constructive comments. This research used observations taken from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The analysis has made use of software package CIAO provided by the Chandra X-ray Center and spectral fitting package XSPEC. P.Z. acknowledges support from the Nederlandse Onderzoekschool Voor Astronomie (NOVA), the NWO Veni Fellowship, grant No. 639.041.647, and NSFC grants 11503008 and 11590781. S.C.L and K.N. acknowledge support by the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI Initiative), MEXT, Japan. S.C.L. also acknowledges support by grants HST-AR-15021.001-A and 80NSSC18K101. Z.L. acknowledges support by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFA0402703) and NSFC grant 11873028. K.N. acknowledges support by JSPS KAKENHI grant Nos. JP17K05382 and JP20K04024. Y.C. acknowledges support by NSFC grants 11773014, 11633007, and 11851305. Software: ATOMDB (Smith et al. 2001; Foster et al. 2012), CIAO (vers. 4.10, Fruscione et al. 2006),10 DS9,11 XSPEC (vers. 12.9.0u, Arnaud 1996).
Group:TAPIR, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)639.041.647
National Natural Science Foundation of China11503008
National Natural Science Foundation of China11590781
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)UNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-AR-15021.001-A
National Key Research and Development Program of China2017YFA0402703
National Natural Science Foundation of China11873028
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP17K05382
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP20K04024
National Natural Science Foundation of China11773014
National Natural Science Foundation of China11633007
National Natural Science Foundation of China11851305
Subject Keywords:Supernova remnants ; Type Ia supernovae ; Explosive nucleosynthesis ; White dwarf stars ; Galactic center
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Supernova remnants (1667); Type Ia supernovae (1728); Explosive nucleosynthesis (503); White dwarf stars (1799); Galactic center (565)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210212-075050277
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ping Zhou et al 2021 ApJ 908 31
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108028
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Feb 2021 17:55
Last Modified:12 Feb 2021 17:55

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