We present self-consistent, axisymmetric core-collapse supernova simulations performed with the Prometheus-Vertex code for 18 pre-supernova models in the range of 11-28 M Ȯ, including progenitors recently investigated by other groups. All models develop explosions, but depending on the progenitor structure, they can be divided into two classes. With a steep density decline at the Si/Si-O interface, the arrival of this interface at the shock front leads to a sudden drop of the mass-accretion rate, triggering a rapid approach to explosion. With a more gradually decreasing accretion rate, it takes longer for the neutrino heating to overcome the accretion ram pressure and explosions set in later. Early explosions are facilitated by high mass-accretion rates after bounce and correspondingly high neutrino luminosities combined with a pronounced drop of the accretion rate and ram pressure at the Si/Si-O interface. Because of rapidly shrinking neutron star radii and receding shock fronts after the passage through their maxima, our models exhibit short advection timescales, which favor the efficient growth of the standing accretion-shock instability. The latter plays a supportive role at least for the initiation of the re-expansion of the stalled shock before runaway. Taking into account the effects of turbulent pressure in the gain layer, we derive a generalized condition for the critical neutrino luminosity that captures the explosion behavior of all models very well. We validate the robustness of our findings by testing the influence of stochasticity, numerical resolution, and approximations in some aspects of the microphysics.
- Supernovae: general