White stars on blue background

Title: “A Convergence on the Identity of Type Ia Supernova Progenitors”
Speaker: Ken Shen, Staff Researcher, Astronomy Department, UC Berkeley

When: Friday February 25th, 2022 at 3 pm

Where: Physics, Room 144 and via Zoom https://ucsd.zoom.us/j/99878754586?pwd=T0NLQ3RDc2k0S2JtMDlBNGhRTnB4Zz09

Abstract: Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are thermonuclear explosions of carbon/oxygen white dwarfs (WDs). Perhaps surprisingly to researchers outside the SN subfield, fundamental questions persist regarding any further details. What is the nature of the companion(s) that trigger the explosion?  What mode of burning consumes the WD?  And is one model responsible for all SNe Ia, or do multiple scenarios contribute to the overall population? In this talk, I will describe our theoretical and observational work on the “Dynamically Driven Double Degenerate Double Detonation” (D6) scenario, in which the coalescence of a double WD binary leads to a converging-shock-triggered detonation in the more massive WD and a subsequent SN Ia. Our recent successes, which include the best match to the Phillips relation in the literature and the prediction and discovery of hypervelocity stars ejected from the Milky Way, provide evidence that the D6 scenario is the mechanism responsible for all non-peculiar SNe Ia.