Simulations of electron capture and low-mass iron core supernovae

B Mueller, S Wanajo, Hans-Thomas Janka, Alexander Heger, D Gay, S A Sim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

3 Citations (Scopus)


The evolutionary pathways of core-collapse supernova progenitors at the low-mass end of the spectrum are beset with major uncertainties. In recent years, a variety of evolutionary channels has been discovered in addition to the classical electron capure supernova channel of super-AGB stars. The few available progenitor models at the low-mass end have been studied with great success in supernova simulations as the peculiar density structure makes for robust neutrino-driven explosions in this mass range. Detailed nucleosynthesis calculations have been conducted both for models of electron capture supernovae and low-mass iron core supernovae and revealed an interesting production of the lighter trans-iron elements (such as Zn, Sr, Y, Zr)as well as rare isotopes like 48Ca and 60Fe. We stress the need to explore the low-mass end of the supernova spectrum further and link various observables to understand the diversity of explosions in this regime.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemorie della Società Astronomica Italiana
Subtitle of host publicationThe AGB-Supernovae mass transition, Monte Porzio Catone, March 27-31, 2017
EditorsAmanda Karakas, Paolo Ventura
Place of PublicationItaly
PublisherItalian Astronomical Society (SAIt)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventThe AGB-Supernovae Mass Transition 2017 - Observatory of Rome, Monte Porzio Catone, Italy
Duration: 27 Mar 201731 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameMemorie della Società Astronomica Italiana
PublisherSocieta Astronomica Italiana (SAIt)
ISSN (Print)0037-8720


ConferenceThe AGB-Supernovae Mass Transition 2017
CityMonte Porzio Catone
OtherLittle is known about stars in the mass range between those that end their lives as white dwarfs and those that die in spectacular supernova explosions. The uncertainty stems from the fact that stars in this transition mass range from about ~7 to 11 solar masses are both difficult to model theoretically and there are few observational clues as to their evolutionary history. Following the ignition of carbon in the core under conditions of partial degeneracy, the stars then continue to evolve through the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase and are known as super-AGB stars. Super-AGB stars have oxygen-neon degenerate cores as opposed to the carbon-oxygen cores of their lower mass counterparts. The final fate of single super-AGB stars depends on the rate of mass loss from the surface: if the core can grow big enough to reach the Chandrasekhar mass then it will explode as an electron capture supernova.
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