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Carbon ignition in a rapidly accreting degenerate dwarf - A clue to the nature of the merging process in close binaries
Nomoto, K.; Iben, I., Jr.
AA(Tokyo, University, Japan), AB(Illinois, University, Urbana)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 297, Oct. 15, 1985, p. 531-537. Research supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Japan. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Binary Stars, Carbon, Dwarf Stars, Nuclear Fusion, Stellar Evolution, Supernovae, Nuclear Fusion, Stellar Mass Accretion, Stellar Models, Stellar Structure, Stellar Temperature
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Recent studies have suggested that the merging of two degenerate dwarfs composed of carbon and oxygen and of total mass larger than the Chandrasekhar limit occurs at a frequency comparable to that of Type I supernovae. The rate at which mass is transferred in the merging process is at present unknown, except that it must be less than some appropriate Eddington limit. It is found that, unless mass transfer occurs at a rate less than one-fifth of the Eddington limit for an isolated dwarf, carbon is ignited off-center, and ignition does not lead immediately to a deflagration. If carbon continues to burn quiescently until it is exhausted throughout the star, a neon-oxygen-magnesium white dwarf will be formed. If a Type I supernova is to follow from merging white dwarfs, a thick disk must be formed as an intermediate stage in the merging process, with transfer from the disk onto the central degenerate dwarf occurring at a rate sufficiently less than Eddington that a deflagration induced by carbon burning occurs. Thus, the outcome of the merging of two massive carbon-oxygen degenerate dwarfs is not trivially a Type I supernova explosion.

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