CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2011
 28 April 2011

28 April 2011

Speaker: Mukremin Kilic (CfA)

Title:pH Lecture: The Quest for Type Ia Supernova Progenitors

Abstract:The identity of Type Ia Supernovae (SNe) Progenitors is one of the key open questions in astrophysics. Mergers of binary white dwarf stars are one of the proposed channels for the formation of SNe Ia. Short period binary white dwarfs may merge within a Hubble time due to gravitational wave radiation. We have begun a targeted survey to find merging white dwarf systems, and our first results have tripled the number of known merging white dwarf systems. Our sample includes tidally distorted and eclipsing systems with orbital periods as short as 13 minutes and with merger times less than 1 Myr. I will discuss the characteristics of this merger sample and potential links to Type Ia and underluminous supernovae.

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