Carbon Detonation Supernova

Occasionally, a white dwarf gains mass from another source – for example, a binary star companion that is close enough for the dwarf star to siphon sufficient amounts of matter onto itself; or a collision with other stars, the siphoned matter having been expelled during the process of the companion’s own late stage stellar evolution. If the white dwarf gains enough matter, its internal pressure and temperature will rise enough for carbon to begin fusing in its core. Carbon detonation generally occurs at the point when the accreted matter pushes the white dwarf’s mass close to the Chandrasekhar limit of roughly 1. 4 solar masses. This is the mass at which gravity can overcome the electron degeneracy pressure which had prevented the star from collapsing during its lifetime. The same also happens when two white dwarfs merge and the mass of the body formed is below the Chandrasekhar limit; if two white dwarves merge and the result is over the limit, a Type Ia supernova will occur.

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