The quest for blue supergiants: binary merger models for the evolution of the progenitor of SN 1987A

15 Mar 2017  ·  Menon Athira, Heger Alexander ·

We present the results of a detailed, systematic stellar evolution study of binary mergers for blue supergiant (BSG) progenitors of Type II supernovae. In particular, these are the first evolutionary models that can simultaneously reproduce nearly all observational aspects of the progenitor of SN 1987A, $\text{Sk}-69\,^{\circ}202$, such as its position in the HR diagram, the enrichment of helium and nitrogen in the triple-ring nebula, and its lifetime before its explosion... The merger model, based on the one proposed by Podsiadlowski 1992 et al. and Podsiadlowski 2007 et al., consists of a main sequence secondary star that dissolves completely in the common envelope of the primary red supergiant at the end of their merger. We empirically explore a large initial parameter space, such as primary masses ($15\,\text{M}_{\odot}$, $16\,\text{M}_{\odot}$, and $17\,\text{M}_{\odot}$), secondary masses ($2\,\text{M}_{\odot}$, $3\,\text{M}_{\odot}$, ..., $8\,\text{M}_{\odot}$) and different depths up to which the secondary penetrates the He core of the primary during the merger. The evolution of the merged star is continued until just before iron-core collapse and the surface properties of the 84 pre-supernova models ($16\,\text{M}_{\odot}-23\,\mathrm{M}_{\odot}$) computed have been made available in this work. Within the parameter space studied, the majority of the pre-supernova models are compact, hot BSGs with effective temperature $>12\,\text{kK}$ and radii of $30\,\text{R}_{\odot}-70\,\mathrm{R}_{\odot}$ of which six match nearly all the observational properties of $\text{Sk}-69\,^{\circ}202$. read more

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena