A Caltech Library Service

Radioactively-Powered Rising Lightcurves of Type Ia Supernovae

Piro, Anthony L. (2012) Radioactively-Powered Rising Lightcurves of Type Ia Supernovae. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Submitted)

PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The rising luminosity of the recent, nearby supernova 2011fe shows a quadratic dependencewith time during the first ≈ 0.5-4 days. In addition, the composite lightcurves formed from stacking together many Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) show a similar power-law index of 1.8±0.2 with time. I explore what range of power-law rises are possible due to the presence of radioactive material near the surface of the exploding white dwarf (WD). I summarize what constraints such a model places on the structure of the progenitor and the distribution and velocity of ejecta. My main conclusion is that the rise of SN 2011fe requires a mass fraction X_(56) ≈ 3×10^(-2) of ^(56)Ni (or some other heating source like ^(48)Cr) distributed between a depth of ≈ 4×10^(-3) -0.1M_⊙ below the WD’s surface. Radioactive elements this shallow are not found in simulations of a single C/O detonation. Scenarios that may produce this material include helium-shell burning during a double-detonation ignition, a gravitationally confined detonation, and a subset of deflagration to detonation transition models. In general, the power-law rise can differ from quadratic depending on the details of the event, so comparisons of this work with observed bolometric rises of SNe Ia would place strong constraints on the distribution of shallow radioactive material, providing important clues for identifying the elusive progenitors of SNe Ia.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Piro, Anthony L.0000-0001-6806-0673
Additional Information:I thank Lars Bildsten, Luc Dessart, Dan Kasen, Peter Goldreich, Christian Ott, and Ken Shen for helpful comments and discussions. This work was supported through NSF grant AST-0855535 and by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:hydrodynamics — shock waves — supernovae: general — white dwarfs
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120206-083407355
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29142
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Apr 2012 21:33
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:38

Repository Staff Only: item control page