Explosions of sub-chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs in two dimensions

Eli Livne, David Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


The hydrodynamics of detonations of white dwarfs, having a carbon-oxygen core and a helium envelope, are examined in a two-dimensional geometry. Various combinations of the masses of the CO core and the overlying He layer are examined. Nuclear burning is directly computed with an alpha network from 12C to 56Ni as a part of the hydrodynamic calculation. The nucleosynthesis yield is similar to that needed for Type Ia supernovae to explain the variation in alpha elements relative to iron in Population II stars. Significant amounts of radioactive 44Ti are produced. The yields are similar to those predicted from one-dimensional computations, despite the very nonspherical hydrodynamic behavior. Light curves are simulated and compared to observations of Type Ia supernovae. The observed variation in peak absolute luminosity and in post-maximum decline rate is reproduced in a natural way. A rough comparison of predicted velocities with observations of Ca II H and K, Mg II λ4481 and Si II λ6355 in SN 1989B (in NGC 3627) is promising; implications for the use of Type Ia supernovae as distance indicators are discussed, and the key importance of spectral synthesis is stressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-74
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 1995


  • Distance scale
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • Stars: abundances
  • Supernovae: general
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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