Nova evolution with optically thick winds

Attay Kovetz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermonuclear runaways at the surface of a compact star, due to accretion of nuclear fuel-rich matter, lead to expulsion of matter through optically thick winds. Simulations of such phenomena have either relied on stellar evolution codes, to which some ad hoc prescriptions for mass loss were added; or on integrations of the wind equations, with a similarly ad hoc prescription for the construction of a sequence of such solutions to represent an evolving explosion. A method is presented which combines the foregoing two extremes. The two-point boundary value wind problem is solved by an efficient relaxation algorithm. The wind solution is then used as an outer boundary condition in the stellar code. The self-consistent combination of stellar evolution with an optically thick wind is sufficiently fast, and versatile, to handle thermonuclear explosions near the surface of a compact star. An example is given of the simulation of a moderately fast classical nova outburst. The entire wind phase can be followed in detail: the resulting visual light curve resembles those of actual moderately fast novae; and the expansion velocity is of the right magnitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-394
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics Report
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • 97.10.Me
  • 97.30.Qt
  • 97.80.Gm
  • Cataclysmic variables
  • Evolution
  • Interiors
  • Novae
  • Stars
  • Winds


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