Thermal X-ray emission from shocked ejecta in Type Ia supernova remnants: Prospects for explosion mechanism identification
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The explosion mechanism behind Type Ia supernovae is a matter of continuing debate. The diverse attempts to identify or at least constrain the physical processes involved in the explosion have been only partially successful so far. In this paper we propose to use the thermal X-ray emission from young supernova remnants (SNRs) originating in Type Ia events to extract relevant information concerning the explosions themselves. We have produced a grid of thermonuclear supernova models representative of the paradigms currently under debate: pure deflagrations, delayed detonations, pulsating delayed detonations, and sub-Chandrasekhar explosions, using their density and chemical composition profiles to simulate the interaction with the surrounding ambient medium and the ensuing plasma heating, nonequilibrium ionization and thermal X-ray emission of the ejecta. Key observational parameters such as electron temperatures, emission measures, and ionization timescales are presented and discussed. We find that not only is it possible to identify the explosion mechanism from the spectra of young Type Ia SNRs, it is in fact necessary to take the detailed ejecta structure into account if such spectra are to be modeled in a self-consistent way. Neither element line flux ratios nor element emission measures are good estimates of the true ratios of ejected masses, with differences of as much as 2 or 3 orders of magnitude for a given model. Comparison with observations of the Tycho SNR suggests a delayed detonation as the most probable explosion mechanism. Line strengths, line ratios, and the centroid of the Fe Kα line are reasonably well reproduced by a model of this kind.
CitationBadenes, C. [et al.]. Thermal X-ray emission from shocked ejecta in Type Ia supernova remnants: Prospects for explosion mechanism identification. "Astrophysical journal", Agost 2003, vol. 593, núm. 1, p. 358-369.