Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 470, 157-165 (2017/September-1)
Evidence for sub-Chandrasekhar-mass progenitors of Type Ia supernovae at the faint end of the width-luminosity relation.
BLONDIN S., DESSART L., HILLIER D.J. and KHOKHLOV A.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
The faster light-curve evolution of low-luminosity Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) suggests that they could result from the explosion of white dwarf (WD) progenitors below the Chandrasekhar mass (MCh). Here we present 1D non-local thermodynamic equilibrium time-dependent radiative transfer simulations of pure central detonations of carbon-oxygen WDs with a mass (Mtot) between 0.88 and 1.15 M☉ and a 56Ni yield between 0.08 and 0.84 M☉. Their lower ejecta density compared to MCh models results in a more rapid increase of the luminosity at early times and an enhanced γ-ray escape fraction past maximum light. Consequently, their bolometric light curves display shorter rise times and larger post-maximum decline rates. Moreover, the higher M(56Ni)/Mtot ratio at a given 56Ni mass enhances the temperature and ionization level in the spectrum-formation region for the less luminous models, giving rise to bluer colours at maximum light and a faster post-maximum evolution of the B - V colour. For sub-MCh models fainter than MB ≃ -18.5 mag at peak, the greater bolometric decline and faster colour evolution lead to a larger B-band post-maximum decline rate, ΔM15(B). In particular, all of our previously published MCh models (standard and pulsational delayed detonations) are confined to ΔM15(B) < 1.4 mag, while the sub-MCh models with Mtot <= 1 M☉ extend beyond this limit to ΔM15(B) ≃ 1.65 mag for a peak MB ≃ -17 mag, in better agreement with the observed width-luminosity relation (WLR). Regardless of the precise ignition mechanism, these simulations suggest that fast-declining SNe Ia at the faint end of the WLR could result from the explosion of WDs whose mass is significantly below the Chandrasekhar limit.