Global non-spherical oscillations in three-dimensional 4π simulations of the h-ingestion flash

Falk Herwig, Paul R. Woodward, Pei Hung Lin, Mike Knox, Chris Fryer

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We performed three-dimensional simulations of proton-rich material entrainment into 12C-rich He-shell flash convection and the subsequent H-ingestion flash that took place in the post-asymptotic giant branch star Sakurai's object. Observations of the transient nature and anomalous abundance features are available to validate our method and assumptions, with the aim of applying them to very low-metallicity stars in the future. We include nuclear energy feedback from H burning and cover the full 4π geometry of the shell. Runs on 7683 and 15363 grids agree well with each other and have been followed for 1500 minutes and 1200 minutes. After an 850 minute long quiescent entrainment phase, the simulations enter into a global non-spherical oscillation that is launched and sustained by individual ignition events of H-rich fluid pockets. Fast circumferential flows collide at the antipode and cause the formation and localized ignition of the next H-overabundant pocket. The cycle repeats for more than a dozen times while its amplitude decreases. During the global oscillation, the entrainment rate increases temporarily by a factor of 100. Entrained entropy quenches convective motions in the upper layer until the burning of entrained H establishes a separate convection zone. The lower-resolution run hints at the possibility that another global oscillation, perhaps even more violent, will follow. The location of the H-burning convection zone agrees with a one-dimensional model in which the mixing efficiency is calibrated to reproduce the light curve. The simulations have been performed at the NSF Blue Waters supercomputer at NCSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL3
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • convection
  • hydrodynamics
  • instabilities
  • stars: AGB and post-AGB
  • stars: individual (V4334 Sagittarii)
  • stars: interiors


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