Rotating Question Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer

Why do the explosions of Type Ia supernovae have a more predictable spectrum than those of regular Type II supernovae?

Why do the explosions of Type Ia supernovae have a more specific mix of elements and more predictable spectrum than those of regular Type II supernovae?

Type II supernovae are explosions of massive stars and the masses of these stars have a very wide range. On the other hand, Type Ia supernovae occur because of accretion onto a white dwarf and the explosion occurs when the mass of the white dwarf exceeds the Chandrasekhar mass (beyond which electron degeneracy pressure can no longer support the star). Hence Type Ia supernovae are explosions of stars with roughly the same mass. Hence, they look similar. If you could get a database of Type II supernovae of stars with same mass and metallicity (which is the amount of elements higher than Helium that the star has) then you might see similar spectra.

May 2002, Jagadheep D. Pandian (more by Jagadheep D. Pandian) (Like this Answer)

Still Curious?

Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:

More questions about Supernovae: Previous | Next

How to ask a question:

If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.

Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist

URL: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=183
This page has been accessed 25992 times since August 26, 2002.
Last modified: August 26, 2002 9:16:21 PM

Legal questions? See our copyright, disclaimer and privacy policy.
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.

Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)