Carbon-Oxygen Classical Novae Are Galactic 7Li Producers as well as Potential Supernova Ia Progenitors

Sumner Starrfield, Maitrayee Bose, Christian Iliadis, W. Raphael Hix, Charles E. Woodward, R. Mark Wagner

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We report on studies of classical nova (CN) explosions where we follow the evolution of thermonuclear runaways (TNRs) on carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarfs (WDs). We vary both the mass of the WD (from 0.6 M o˙ to 1.35 M o˙) and the composition of the accreted material. Our simulations are guided by the results of multidimensional studies of TNRs in WDs, which find that sufficient mixing with WD core material occurs after the TNR is well underway, and levels of enrichment are reached that agree with observations of CN ejecta abundances. We use NOVA (our one-dimensional hydrodynamic code) to accrete solar matter until the TNR is ongoing and then switch to a mixed composition (either 25% WD material and 75% solar or 50% WD material and 50% solar). Because the amount of accreted material is inversely proportional to the initial 12C abundance, by first accreting solar matter the amount of material taking part in the outburst is larger than in those simulations where we assume a mixed composition from the beginning. Our results show large enrichments of 7Be in the ejected gases, implying that CO CNe may be responsible for a significant fraction (∼100 M o˙) of the 7Li in the galaxy (∼1000 M o˙). Although the ejected gases are enriched in WD material, the WDs in these simulations eject less material than they accrete. We predict that the WD is growing in mass as a consequence of the accretion-outburst-accretion cycle, and CO CNe may be an important channel for SN Ia progenitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2020

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