Accelerating very fast gas in the supernova impostor SN 2009ip with jets from a stellar companion

Danny Tsebrenko, Noam Soker

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Using hydrodynamic numerical simulations we show that high-velocity ejecta with v ∼ 104 km s-1 in the outbursts of the supernova impostor SN 2009ip and similar luminous blue variable (LBV) stars can be explained by the interaction of fast jets, having vjet ∼ 2000-3000 km s-1, with a circumbinary shell (extended envelope). The density profile in the shell is very steep such that the shock wave, that is excited by the jets' interaction with the shell, accelerates to high velocities as it propagates outward. The amount of very fast ejecta is small, but sufficient to account for some absorption lines. Such an extended envelope can be formed from the binary interaction and/or the unstable phase of the LBV primary star. The jets themselves are launched by the more compact secondary star near periastron passages.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL35
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • stars: individual (SN 2009ip)
  • stars: massive
  • stars: variables: general
  • stars: winds, outflows


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