X-rays observations of a super-Chandrasekhar object reveal an ONeMg and a CO white dwarf merger product embedded in a putative SN Iax remnant

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Abstract: The merger of two white dwarfs (WD) is a natural outcome from the evolution of many binary stars. Recently, a WD merger product, IRAS 00500+6713, was identified. IRAS 00500+6713 consists of a central star embedded in a circular nebula. The analysis of the optical spectrum of the central star revealed that it is hot, hydrogen and helium free, and drives an extremely fast wind with a record breaking speed. The nebula is visible in infrared and in the [O III] line images. No nebula spectroscopy was obtained prior to our observations. Here we report the first deep X-ray imaging spectroscopic observations of IRAS 00500+6713. Both the central star and the nebula are detected in X-rays, heralding the WD merger products as a new distinct type of strong X-ray sources. Low-resolution X-ray spectra reveal large neon, magnesium, silicon, and sulfur enrichment of the central star and the nebula. We conclude that IRAS 00500+6713 resulted from a merger of an ONe and a CO WD, which supports earlier suggestion for a super-Chandrasekhar mass of this object. X-ray analysis indicates that the merger was associated with an episode of carbon burning and possibly accompanied by a SN Iax. In X-rays, we observe the point source associated with the merger product while the surrounding diffuse nebula is a supernova remnant. IRAS 00500+6713 will likely terminate its evolution with another peculiar Type I supernova, where the final core collapse to a neutron star might be induced by electron captures.
From: Lidia Oskinova [view email]
[v1] Mon, 24 Aug 2020 18:00:05 UTC (338 KB)
[v2] Sun, 29 Nov 2020 15:59:13 UTC (354 KB)