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The Supernova Impostor SN 2010da

Breanna Binder, UW Bothell
Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
PAA A-102

​Supernova impostors are optical transients that, despite being assigned a
supernova designation, do not signal the death of a massive star or an
accreting white dwarf. Instead, most impostors are likely to be the
result of a major eruption from a massive star. Although the physical
cause of these eruptions is still debated, tidal interactions from a
binary companion has recently gained traction as a possible explanation
for observations of some supernova impostors. In this talk, I will
discuss the particularly interesting impostor SN 2010da, which is (so
far) unique among this class of objects due to its high-luminosity,
variable X-ray emission. The X-ray emission is consistent with accretion
onto a neutron star, making SN 2010da both a supernova impostor and
likely high mass X-ray binary. If it is indeed a high mass X-ray binary,
it is extremely young: CMD modeling of the coeval stellar population
revealed by HST imaging constrains the age of SN 2010da system to <5
Myr. This age is consistent with the theoretically predicted first onset
of X-ray production in X-ray binaries, making SN 2010da an important
object for understanding massive binaries and high mass X-ray binary
formation.

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