Why are supersoft X-ray fluxes so weak in early-type galaxies? - A clue to type Ia SNe progenitors -

Mariko Kato

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Supersoft X-ray fluxes in early-type galaxies provide an excellent test for Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) progenitors: the double degenerate (DD) scenario is believed to produce no supersoft sources (SSSs) except just before the SN Ia explosion, while the single degenerate (SD) scenario produces SSSs in some phases of the symbiotic channel. Recent observations of the supersoft X-ray flux of early-type galaxies show a remarkable agreement with theoretical predictions of the SD scenario, which thus turns out to be a strong support for the SD scenario, despite the original observations aimed at the opposite conclusion. Here I explain why X-ray fluxes are so weak in early-type galaxies. (1) Candidate binaries in the SD scenario become SSSs only during a short time on their way to SNe Ia explosions, because they spend a large part of their lifetime in a wind phase. (2) During the SSS phase, symbiotic stars emit very weak supersoft X-ray fluxes even if the WD is very massive. It should be emphasized that supersoft X-ray symbiotic stars are very rare and we need more observations to understand their nature.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBinary Paths to Type Ia Supernovae Explosions
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781107019812
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221


  • Binaries: symbiotic - stars: novae
  • Cataclysmic variables
  • Late-type
  • Mass loss
  • Stars
  • Supernovae - X-rays: galaxies
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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