3 years ago

An unusual white dwarf star may be a surviving remnant of a subluminous Type Ia supernova

E. H. Alper, V. Khalack, L. Ferrario, J. R. Thorstensen, A. Kawka, P. Nemeth, S. Vennes

Subluminous Type Ia supernovae, such as the Type Iax–class prototype SN 2002cx, are described by a variety of models such as the failed detonation and partial deflagration of an accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarf star or the explosion of an accreting, hybrid carbon-oxygen-neon core. These models predict that bound remnants survive such events with, according to some simulations, a high kick velocity. We report the discovery of a high proper motion, low-mass white dwarf (LP 40-365) that travels at a velocity greater than the Galactic escape velocity and whose peculiar atmosphere is dominated by intermediate-mass elements. Strong evidence indicates that this partially burnt remnant was ejected following a subluminous Type Ia supernova event. This supports the viability of single-degenerate supernova progenitors.

Publisher URL: http://science.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/357/6352/680

DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8378

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