A circumbinary disc in the final stages of common envelope and the core-degenerate scenario for Type Ia supernovae

Amit Kashi*, Noam Soker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


We study the final stages of the common envelope (CE) evolution and find that a substantial fraction of the ejected mass does not reach the escape velocity. To reach this conclusion we use a self-similar solution under simplifying assumptions. Most of the gravitational energy of a companion white dwarf (WD) is released in the envelope of a massive asymptotic giant branch (AGB) or the red giant branch (RGB) star in a very short time. This rapid energy release forms a blast wave in the envelope. We follow the blast wave propagation from the centre of the AGB outwards, and show that ~1-10per cent of the ejected envelope remains bound to the remnant binary system. We suggest that due to angular momentum conservation and further interaction with the binary system, the fall-back material forms a circumbinary disc around the post-AGB Core and the companion WD. The interaction of the circumbinary disc with the binary system will reduce the orbital separation much more than expected of the dynamical phase (where the envelope is ejected) of the CE alone. The smaller orbital separation favours a merger at the end of the CE phase or a short time after, while the core is still hot. This is another channel for the formation of a massive WD with super-Chandrasekhar mass that might explode as a Type Ia supernova. We term this the core-degenerate (CD) scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1466-1479
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB
  • Supernovae: general
  • White dwarfs

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