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<< Thursday, January 30, 2014 >>


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The Changing Landscape of Type Ia Supernova Progenitors

Colloquium: Astronomy Colloquia | January 30 | 4:10 p.m. | 1 LeConte Hall


Ken Shen, UCB

Department of Astronomy


Despite concerted effort, the progenitors of Type Ia supernovae have not been definitively identified. For decades, we have thought that the most plausible scenario is one in which a white dwarf grows to the Chandrasekhar mass via H-rich accretion from a companion. However, evidence is mounting that this standard, textbook progenitor channel cannot be responsible for the bulk of Type Ia supernovae. I will give an overview of the current state of the field and highlight our recent work on the double detonation scenario. While relatively less studied, this progenitor channel is extremely promising and may pave the way for an understanding of how these cosmic standardizable candles are born.


rhelgens@astro.berkeley.edu, 510-642-5275