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The influence of mass-transfer variability on the growth of white dwarfs, and the implications for supernova type Ia rates

The influence of mass-transfer variability on the growth of white dwarfs, and the implications for supernova type Ia rates
The influence of mass-transfer variability on the growth of white dwarfs, and the implications for supernova type Ia rates
White dwarfs (WDs) can increase their mass by accretion from companion stars, provided the mass-accretion rate is high enough to avoid nova eruptions. The accretion regimes that allow growth of the WDs are usually calculated assuming constant mass-transfer rates. However, it is possible that these systems are influenced by effects that cause the rate to fluctuate on various timescales. We investigate how long-term mass-transfer variability affects accreting WDs systems. We show that, if such variability is present, it expands the parameter space of binaries where the WD can effectively increase its mass. Furthermore, we find that the supernova type Ia (SNIa) rate is enhanced by a factor 2-2.5 to a rate that is comparable with the lower limit of the observed rates. The changes in the delay-time distribution allow for more SNIae in stellar populations with ages of a few Gyr. Thus, mass-transfer variability gives rise to a new formation channel of SNIa events that can significantly contribute to the SNIa rate. Mass-transfer variability is also likely to affect other binary populations through enhanced WD growth. For example, it may explain why WDs in cataclysmic variables are observed to be more massive than single WDs, on average.
Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
354–363
Toonen, Silvia
1b25a81b-390f-41c5-add6-3a7bea090932
Voss, Rasmus
9dd8cdcb-e444-4e6d-8082-e623425d9ac7
Knigge, Christian
ac320eec-631a-426e-b2db-717c8bf7857e
Toonen, Silvia
1b25a81b-390f-41c5-add6-3a7bea090932
Voss, Rasmus
9dd8cdcb-e444-4e6d-8082-e623425d9ac7
Knigge, Christian
ac320eec-631a-426e-b2db-717c8bf7857e

Toonen, Silvia, Voss, Rasmus and Knigge, Christian (2014) The influence of mass-transfer variability on the growth of white dwarfs, and the implications for supernova type Ia rates. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 441 (1), 354–363. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stu569).

Record type: Article

Abstract

White dwarfs (WDs) can increase their mass by accretion from companion stars, provided the mass-accretion rate is high enough to avoid nova eruptions. The accretion regimes that allow growth of the WDs are usually calculated assuming constant mass-transfer rates. However, it is possible that these systems are influenced by effects that cause the rate to fluctuate on various timescales. We investigate how long-term mass-transfer variability affects accreting WDs systems. We show that, if such variability is present, it expands the parameter space of binaries where the WD can effectively increase its mass. Furthermore, we find that the supernova type Ia (SNIa) rate is enhanced by a factor 2-2.5 to a rate that is comparable with the lower limit of the observed rates. The changes in the delay-time distribution allow for more SNIae in stellar populations with ages of a few Gyr. Thus, mass-transfer variability gives rise to a new formation channel of SNIa events that can significantly contribute to the SNIa rate. Mass-transfer variability is also likely to affect other binary populations through enhanced WD growth. For example, it may explain why WDs in cataclysmic variables are observed to be more massive than single WDs, on average.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 24 April 2014
Published date: 11 June 2014
Keywords: Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

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Local EPrints ID: 429100
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429100
PURE UUID: f3585b03-b370-40cc-ace6-b4bc85c96126

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Date deposited: 21 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 16:39

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