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5.9-keV Mn K-shell X-ray luminosity from the decay of Fe-55 in Type Ia supernova models
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2015 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 447, no 2, 1484-1490 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We show that the X-ray line flux of the Mn Ka line at 5.9 keV from the decay of Fe-55 is a promising diagnostic to distinguish between Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) explosion models. Using radiation transport calculations, we compute the line flux for two three-dimensional explosion models: a near-Chandrasekhar mass delayed detonation and a violent merger of two (1.1 and 0.9 M-circle dot) white dwarfs. Both models are based on solar metallicity zero-age main-sequence progenitors. Due to explosive nuclear burning at higher density, the delayed-detonation model synthesizes similar to 3.5 times more radioactive Fe-55 than the merger model. As a result, we find that the peak Mn K alpha line flux of the delayed-detonation model exceeds that of the merger model by a factor of similar to 4.5. Since in both models the 5.9-keV X-ray flux peaks five to six years after the explosion, a single measurement of the X-ray line emission at this time can place a constraint on the explosion physics that is complementary to those derived from earlier phase optical spectra or light curves. We perform detector simulations of current and future X-ray telescopes to investigate the possibilities of detecting the X-ray line at 5.9 keV. Of the currently existing telescopes, XMM-Newton/pn is the best instrument for close (less than or similar to 1-2 Mpc), non-background limited SNe Ia because of its large effective area. Due to its low instrumental background, Chandra/ACIS is currently the best choice for SNe Ia at distances above similar to 2 Mpc. For the delayed-detonation scenario, a line detection is feasible with Chandra up to similar to 3 Mpc for an exposure time of 10(6) s. We find that it should be possible with currently existing X-ray instruments (with exposure times less than or similar to 5 x 10(5) s) to detect both of our models at sufficiently high S/N to distinguish between them for hypothetical events within the Local Group. The prospects for detection will be better with future missions. For example, the proposed Athena/X-IFU instrument could detect our delayed-detonation model out to a distance of similar to 5 Mpc. This would make it possible to study future events occurring during its operational life at distances comparable to those of the recent supernovae SN 2011 fe (similar to 6.4 Mpc) and SN 2014J (similar to 3.5 Mpc).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 447, no 2, 1484-1490 p.
Keyword [en]
line: formation, nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances, radiative transfer, supernovae: general, white dwarfs, X-rays: general
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116545DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2537ISI: 000350272900039OAI: diva2:807717


Available from: 2015-04-24 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Kromer, Markus
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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