The above is from Jerry's entry today in the Fun Papers thread. The paper referenced is about simulations run on the inspiral of pair of white dwarfs becoming SN 1a's to see what biases there might be about mass ranges for the objects. There have been several 1a's studied recently showing that these particular ones could not have been the result of a near critical WD getting the last bit of mass needed from a bloated close companion (the normal model till very recently). The above paper does a nice job of looking at the behavior of various pairs of hypothetical masses between 0.2 and 1.2 solar masses. What it doesn't say, and what I've been trying to find out elsewhere, is this:Finally, What is Friday without a Supernova paper?
http://arxiv.org/abs/1201.2406How the merger of two white dwarfs depends on their mass ratio: orbital stability and detonations at contact
Dan & co conclude there is a fairly broad range of merger masses that could achieve a supernova type Ia signiture.
Why do SN 1a's almost all (there are some obvious exceptions) produce exactly the same amount (within our ability to measure it) of Ni-56 (whose decay is the main driver for SN brightness for the weeks and months after the initial explosion), regardless of initial masses?