Large-scale Mixing in a Violent Oxygen-Neon Shell Merger Prior to a Core-collapse Supernova

Naveen Yadav, Bernhard Müller, Hans Thomas Janka, Tobias Melson, Alexander Heger

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We present a 7 minute long 4π-3D simulation of a shell merger event in a nonrotating 18.88 M supernova progenitor before the onset of gravitational collapse. The key motivation is to capture the large-scale mixing and asymmetries in the wake of the shell merger before collapse using a self-consistent approach. The 4π geometry is crucial, as it allows us to follow the growth and evolution of convective modes on the largest possible scales. We find significant differences between the kinematic, thermodynamic, and chemical evolution of the 3D and 1D models. The 3D model shows vigorous convection leading to more efficient mixing of nuclear species. In the 3D case, the entire oxygen shell attains convective Mach numbers of ≈0.1, whereas in the 1D model, the convective velocities are much lower, and there is negligible overshooting across convective boundaries. In the 3D case, the convective eddies entrain nuclear species from the neon (and carbon) layers into the deeper part of the oxygen-burning shell, where they burn and power a violent convection phase with outflows. This is a prototypical model of a convective-reactive system. Due to the strong convection and resulting efficient mixing, the interface between the neon layer and the silicon-enriched oxygen layer disappears during the evolution, and silicon is mixed far out into the merged oxygen/neon shell. Neon entrained inward by convective downdrafts burns, resulting in lower neon mass in the 3D model compared to the 1D model at the time of collapse. In addition, the 3D model develops remarkable large-scale, large-amplitude asymmetries, which may have important implications for the impending gravitational collapse and subsequent explosion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
Number of pages23
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020

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