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Super-Eddington wind scenario for the progenitors of type Ia supernovae: Accreting He-rich matter onto white dwarfs

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Published Article
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DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201526569
Source
arXiv
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Abstract

Supernovae of type Ia (SNe Ia) are believed to be thermonuclear explosions of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs (CO WDs). However, the mass accretion process onto CO WDs is still not completely understood. In this paper, we study the accretion of He-rich matter onto CO WDs and explore a scenario in which a strong wind forms on the surface of the WD if the total luminosity exceeds the Eddington limit. Using a stellar evolution code called modules for experiments in stellar astrophysics (MESA), we simulated the He accretion process onto CO WDs for WDs with masses of 0.6-1.35Msun and various accretion rates of 10^{-8}-10^{-5}Msun/yr. If the contribution of the total luminosity is included when determining the Eddington accretion rate, then a super-Eddington wind could be triggered at relatively lower accretion rates than those of previous studies based on steady-state models. The super-Eddington wind can prevent the WDs with high accretion rates from evolving into red-giant-like He stars. We found that the contributions from thermal energy of the WD are non-negligible, judging by our simulations, even though the nuclear burning energy is the dominating source of luminosity. We also provide the limits of the steady He-burning regime in which the WDs do not lose any accreted matter and increase their mass steadily, and calculated the mass retention efficiency during He layer flashes for various WD masses and accretion rates. These obtained results can be used in future binary population synthesis computations.

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