The three-dimensional evolution to core collapse of a massive star

Sean M. Couch, Emmanouil Chatzopoulos, W. David Arnett, Francis Timmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the first three-dimensional (3D) simulation of the final minutes of iron core growth in a massive star, up to and including the point of core gravitational instability and collapse. We capture the development of strong convection driven by violent Si burning in the shell surrounding the iron core. This convective burning builds the iron core to its critical mass and collapse ensues, driven by electron capture and photodisintegration. The non-spherical structure and motion generated by 3D convection is substantial at the point of collapse, with convective speeds of several hundreds of km s-1. We examine the impact of such physically realistic 3D initial conditions on the core-collapse supernova mechanism using 3D simulations including multispecies neutrino leakage and find that the enhanced post-shock turbulence resulting from 3D progenitor structure aids successful explosions. We conclude that non-spherical progenitor structure should not be ignored, and should have a significant and favorable impact on the likelihood for neutrino-driven explosions. In order to make simulating the 3D collapse of an iron core feasible, we were forced to make approximations to the nuclear network making this effort only a first step toward accurate, self-consistent 3D stellar evolution models of the end states of massive stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL21
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume808
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 20 2015

Fingerprint

massive stars
iron
explosion
convection
explosions
neutrinos
critical mass
gravitational instability
gravitational collapse
stellar evolution
leakage
simulation
electron capture
turbulence
supernovae
shell
electron
shock
approximation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

The three-dimensional evolution to core collapse of a massive star. / Couch, Sean M.; Chatzopoulos, Emmanouil; Arnett, W. David; Timmes, Francis.

In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 808, No. 1, L21, 20.07.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Couch, Sean M. ; Chatzopoulos, Emmanouil ; Arnett, W. David ; Timmes, Francis. / The three-dimensional evolution to core collapse of a massive star. In: Astrophysical Journal Letters. 2015 ; Vol. 808, No. 1.
@article{4a8a0364fc3942caad0ea0dd53cbddfb,
title = "The three-dimensional evolution to core collapse of a massive star",
abstract = "We present the first three-dimensional (3D) simulation of the final minutes of iron core growth in a massive star, up to and including the point of core gravitational instability and collapse. We capture the development of strong convection driven by violent Si burning in the shell surrounding the iron core. This convective burning builds the iron core to its critical mass and collapse ensues, driven by electron capture and photodisintegration. The non-spherical structure and motion generated by 3D convection is substantial at the point of collapse, with convective speeds of several hundreds of km s-1. We examine the impact of such physically realistic 3D initial conditions on the core-collapse supernova mechanism using 3D simulations including multispecies neutrino leakage and find that the enhanced post-shock turbulence resulting from 3D progenitor structure aids successful explosions. We conclude that non-spherical progenitor structure should not be ignored, and should have a significant and favorable impact on the likelihood for neutrino-driven explosions. In order to make simulating the 3D collapse of an iron core feasible, we were forced to make approximations to the nuclear network making this effort only a first step toward accurate, self-consistent 3D stellar evolution models of the end states of massive stars.",
author = "Couch, {Sean M.} and Emmanouil Chatzopoulos and Arnett, {W. David} and Francis Timmes",
year = "2015",
month = "7",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1088/2041-8205/808/1/L21",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "808",
journal = "Astrophysical Journal Letters",
issn = "2041-8205",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The three-dimensional evolution to core collapse of a massive star

AU - Couch, Sean M.

AU - Chatzopoulos, Emmanouil

AU - Arnett, W. David

AU - Timmes, Francis

PY - 2015/7/20

Y1 - 2015/7/20

N2 - We present the first three-dimensional (3D) simulation of the final minutes of iron core growth in a massive star, up to and including the point of core gravitational instability and collapse. We capture the development of strong convection driven by violent Si burning in the shell surrounding the iron core. This convective burning builds the iron core to its critical mass and collapse ensues, driven by electron capture and photodisintegration. The non-spherical structure and motion generated by 3D convection is substantial at the point of collapse, with convective speeds of several hundreds of km s-1. We examine the impact of such physically realistic 3D initial conditions on the core-collapse supernova mechanism using 3D simulations including multispecies neutrino leakage and find that the enhanced post-shock turbulence resulting from 3D progenitor structure aids successful explosions. We conclude that non-spherical progenitor structure should not be ignored, and should have a significant and favorable impact on the likelihood for neutrino-driven explosions. In order to make simulating the 3D collapse of an iron core feasible, we were forced to make approximations to the nuclear network making this effort only a first step toward accurate, self-consistent 3D stellar evolution models of the end states of massive stars.

AB - We present the first three-dimensional (3D) simulation of the final minutes of iron core growth in a massive star, up to and including the point of core gravitational instability and collapse. We capture the development of strong convection driven by violent Si burning in the shell surrounding the iron core. This convective burning builds the iron core to its critical mass and collapse ensues, driven by electron capture and photodisintegration. The non-spherical structure and motion generated by 3D convection is substantial at the point of collapse, with convective speeds of several hundreds of km s-1. We examine the impact of such physically realistic 3D initial conditions on the core-collapse supernova mechanism using 3D simulations including multispecies neutrino leakage and find that the enhanced post-shock turbulence resulting from 3D progenitor structure aids successful explosions. We conclude that non-spherical progenitor structure should not be ignored, and should have a significant and favorable impact on the likelihood for neutrino-driven explosions. In order to make simulating the 3D collapse of an iron core feasible, we were forced to make approximations to the nuclear network making this effort only a first step toward accurate, self-consistent 3D stellar evolution models of the end states of massive stars.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84957944856&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84957944856&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1088/2041-8205/808/1/L21

DO - 10.1088/2041-8205/808/1/L21

M3 - Article

VL - 808

JO - Astrophysical Journal Letters

JF - Astrophysical Journal Letters

SN - 2041-8205

IS - 1

M1 - L21

ER -