Double white dwarf (DWD) mergers are relevant astrophysical sources expected to produce massive, highly magnetized white dwarfs (WDs), supernovae (SNe) Ia, and neutron stars (NSs). Although they are expected to be numerous sources in the sky, their detection has evaded the most advanced transient surveys. This article characterizes the optical transient expected from DWD mergers in which the central remnant is a stable (sub-Chandrasekhar) WD. We show that the expansion and cooling of the merger's dynamical ejecta lead to an optical emission peaking at 1–10 days postmerger, with luminosities of 1040–1041 erg s−1. We present simulations of the light curves, spectra, and the color evolution of the transient. We show that these properties, together with the estimated rate of mergers, are consistent with the absence of detection, e.g., by the Zwicky Transient Facility. More importantly, we show that the Legacy Survey of Space and Time of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory will likely detect a few/several hundred per year, opening a new window to the physics of WDs, NSs, and SNe Ia.

On the Optical Transients from Double White-dwarf Mergers

Guidorzi, C.;Rueda, J. A.
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

Double white dwarf (DWD) mergers are relevant astrophysical sources expected to produce massive, highly magnetized white dwarfs (WDs), supernovae (SNe) Ia, and neutron stars (NSs). Although they are expected to be numerous sources in the sky, their detection has evaded the most advanced transient surveys. This article characterizes the optical transient expected from DWD mergers in which the central remnant is a stable (sub-Chandrasekhar) WD. We show that the expansion and cooling of the merger's dynamical ejecta lead to an optical emission peaking at 1–10 days postmerger, with luminosities of 1040–1041 erg s−1. We present simulations of the light curves, spectra, and the color evolution of the transient. We show that these properties, together with the estimated rate of mergers, are consistent with the absence of detection, e.g., by the Zwicky Transient Facility. More importantly, we show that the Legacy Survey of Space and Time of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory will likely detect a few/several hundred per year, opening a new window to the physics of WDs, NSs, and SNe Ia.
2023
Sousa, M. F.; Coelho, J. G.; de Araujo, J. C. N.; Guidorzi, C.; Rueda, J. A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2530416
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