The simulation of nova evolution with optically thick winds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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 relied either 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. And 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 (t3 = 49 days) 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)401-406
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume495
Issue number1 PART I
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: interiors
  • Stars: mass loss

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