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Journal Article

Galactic positrons from thermonuclear supernovae


Diehl,  R.
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Evans, T. B. M., Hoeflich, P., & Diehl, R. (2022). Galactic positrons from thermonuclear supernovae. The Astrophysical Journal, 930(2): 107. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac5253.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-4DD2-2
Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) may originate from a wide variety of explosion scenarios and progenitor channels. They exhibit a factor of ≈10 difference in brightness and thus a differentiation in the mass of 56Ni → 56Co → 56Fe. We present a study on the fate of positrons within SNe Ia in order to evaluate their escape fractions and energy spectra. Our detailed Monte Carlo transport simulations for positrons and γ-rays include both β+ decay of 56Co and pair production. We simulate a wide variety of explosion scenarios, including the explosion of white dwarfs (WDs) close to the Chandrasekhar mass (MCh), He-triggered explosions of sub-MCh WDs, and dynamical mergers of two WDs. For each model, we study the influence of the size and morphology of the progenitor magnetic field between 1 and 1013 G. Population synthesis based on the observed brightness distribution of SNe Ia was used to estimate the overall contributions to Galactic positrons due to escape from SNe Ia. We find that this is dominated by SNe Ia of normal brightness, where variations in the distribution of emitted positrons are small. We estimate a total SNe Ia contribution to Galactic positrons of <2% and, depending on the magnetic field morphology, <6–20% for MCh and sub-MCh, respectively.