Recurrent novae as progenitors of type Ia supernovae

Mariko Kato, Izumi Hachisu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Recurrent novae are binaries harboring a very massive white dwarf (WD), as massive as the Chandrasekhar mass, because of their short recurrence periods of nova outbursts of 10-100 years. Thus, recurrent novae are considered as candidates of progenitors of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). In fact, the SN Ia PTF 11kx showed evidence that its progenitor is a symbiotic recurrent nova. The binary parameters of recurrent novae have been well determined, especially for the ones with frequent outbursts, U Sco and RS Oph, which provide useful information on the elementary processes in binary evolution toward SNe Ia. Therefore we use them as testbeds for binary evolution models. For example, the original double degenerate (DD) scenario cannot reproduce RS Oph type recurrent novae, whereas the new single degenerate (SD) scenario proposed by Hachisu et al. (1999) naturally can. We review main differences between the SD and DD scenarios, especially for their basic processes of binary evolution. We also discuss observational support for each physical process. The original DD scenario is based on the physics in 1980s, whereas the SD scenario on more recent physics including the new opacity, mass-growth efficiency of WDs, and optically thick winds developed in nova outbursts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-417
Number of pages25
JournalBulletin of the Astronomical Society of India
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 1


  • Binaries: General
  • Novae, Cataclysmic variables
  • Stars: Mass-loss
  • Supernovae: General
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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