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Observed Consequences of Preupernova Instability in Very Massive Stars

  • Nathan SmithEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 412)

Abstract

This chapter concentrates on the deaths of very massive stars, the events leading up to their deaths, and how mass loss affects the resulting death. The previous four chapters emphasized the theory of wind mass loss, eruptions, and core collapse physics, but here we emphasize mainly the observational properties of the resulting death throes. Mass loss through winds, eruptions, and interacting binaries largely determines the wide variety of different types of supernovae that are observed, as well as the circumstellar environments into which the supernova blast waves expand. Connecting these observed properties of the explosions to the initial masses of their progenitor stars is, however, an enduring challenge and is especially difficult for very massive stars. Superluminous supernovae, pair instability supernovae, gamma ray bursts, and “failed” supernovae are all end fates that have been proposed for very massive stars, but the range of initial masses or other conditions leading to each of these (if they actually occur) are still very uncertain. Extrapolating to infer the role of very massive stars in the early universe is essentially unencumbered by observational constraints and still quite dicey.

Keywords

Light Curve Massive Star High Luminosity Nearby Galaxy Core Collapse 
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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Steward ObservatoryTucsonUSA

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