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Despite decades of intense efforts, many fundamental aspects of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) remain elusive. One of the major open questions is whether the mass of an exploding white dwarf (WD) is close to the Chandrasekhar limit. Here, we report the detection of strong K-shell emission from stable Fe-peak elements in the Suzaku X-ray spectrum of the Type Ia supernova remnant (SNR) 3C 397. The high Ni/Fe and Mn/Fe mass ratios (0.11–0.24 and 0.018–0.033, respectively) in the hot plasma component that dominates the K-shell emission lines indicate a degree of neutronization in the supernova ejecta that can only be achieved by electron capture in the dense cores of exploding WDs with a near-Chandrasekhar mass. This suggests a single-degenerate origin for 3C 397, since Chandrasekhar mass progenitors are expected naturally if the WD accretes mass slowly from a companion. Together with other results supporting the double-degenerate scenario, our work adds to the mounting evidence that both progenitor channels make a significant contribution to the SN Ia rate in star-forming galaxies.
CitationYamaguchi, H. [et al.]. A Chandrasekhar mass progenitor for the type Ia supernova remnant 3C 397 from the enhanced abundances of nickel and manganese. "Astrophysical journal", 12 Març 2015, vol. 801, núm. 2, p. L31-L35.
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