Supernovae pp 342-351 | Cite as

Initial Models and the Prompt Mechanism of SN II

  • E. Baron
  • J. Cooperstein
Conference paper
Part of the Santa Cruz Summer Workshops in Astronomy and Astrophysics book series (SANTA CRUZ)


Massive stars (M10 – 12 M ) become catastrophically unstable when the fuel in their central regions is exhausted. The innermost 1–2 M of fusion ashes (iron peak elements burnt to nuclear statistical equilibrium (NSE0) is the iron core. It resembles a white dwarf star dominated by the pressure of relativistic electrons, albeit a hot one. An isolated white dwarf can not support more than the appropriate Chandrasekhar mass for its composition, but the compact core of the massive star must support the overlying burning shells. Before it evolves completely to the low-temperature white dwarf configuration it loses this ability, is overwhelmed by gravitation and collapses. It is generally agreed that a Type II supernova explosion ensues but there is no general agreement about the details of the process. In fact at present there exist no self-consistent calculations of the explosive stage which adequately explain observed explosion features.


Shock Wave Mass Point White Dwarf Iron Core Free Proton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Baron
  • J. Cooperstein

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