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Fr.: supernova à instabilité de paires
A special type of → supernova that would result from the → pair instability in → supermassive stars with a mass range between 140 and 260 Msun in a low → metallicity environment. Such objects descended from the → Population III stars in the early history of the Universe. Such supernovae are the most powerful thermonuclear explosions in the Universe. Pair-instability supernovae may have played an important role in the synthesis of → heavy elements. Moreover, the energetic feedback of the processed elements to their surroundings could have affected the structure and evolution of the early Universe (See, e.g., Fryer et al. 2001, ApJ 550, 372; Heger & Woosley 2002, ApJ 567, 532). See also → pulsational pair-instability supernova.
pulsational pair-instability supernova
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Fr.: supernova à instabilité pulsationnelle de paires
A → supernova resulting from the → pair instability that generates several successive explosions. According to models, a first pulse ejects many solar masses of hydrogen layers as a shell. After the first explosion, the remaining core contracts and searches for a stable burning state. When the next explosion occurs a few years later, several solar masses of material are again ejected, which collide with the earlier ejecta. This collision can radiate 1050 erg of light, about a factor of ten more than an ordinary → core-collapse supernova. After each pulse, the remaining core contracts, radiates neutrinos and light, and searches again for a stable burning state. Later ejections have lower mass, but have higher energy. They quickly catch up with the first shell, where the collision dissipates most of their kinetic energy as radiation. The first SNe from → Population III stars are likely due to pulsational pair instability (Woosley et al. 2007, Nature 450, 390). See also → pair-instability supernova.