Seminar series

Ultra-luminous Supernova: unleashing the power within

Daniel Kasen, UC Berkley

18 Oct 2012 - 15:30

Astronomers are discovering an increasing number of peculiar supernovae, including a class of brilliant (though rare) ultra-luminous optical transients, some 100 times brighter than ordinary core collapse events. What powers these phenomenal displays is unclear, and poses one of the more interesting open questions in the study of stellar explosions. I will argue, based on simple theory and numerical simulations, that some of the ultra-luminous supernovae are not powered by the ordinary mechanism of radioactive decay I will then go on to discuss models in which the luminosity is boosted by an internal engine formed when the central core collapses -- either a rapidly rotating, highly magnetized neutron star, or a black hole accreting whatever material failed to escape in the supernova explosion.

LCO Seminar Series,
6740 Cortona Dr, Suite 102,