Mass ejection in failed supernovae: Variation with stellar progenitor

Rodrigo Fernández, Eliot Quataert, Kazumi Kashiyama, Eric R. Coughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


We study the ejection of mass during stellar core-collapse when the stalled shock does not revive and a black hole forms. Neutrino emission during the protoneutron star phase causes a decrease in the gravitational mass of the core, resulting in an outward going sound pulse that steepens into a shock as it travels out through the star. We explore the properties of this mass ejection mechanism over a range of stellar progenitors using spherically symmetric, time-dependent hydrodynamic simulations that treat neutrino mass-loss parametrically and follow the shock propagation over the entire star. We find that all types of stellar progenitor can eject mass through this mechanism. The ejected mass is a decreasing function of the surface gravity of the star, ranging from several M for red supergiants to ~0.1M for blue supergiants and ~10-3M for Wolf-Rayet stars. We find that the final shock energy at the surface is a decreasing function of the core-compactness, and is ≲ 1047-1048 erg in all cases. In progenitors with a sufficiently large envelope, high core-compactness, or a combination of both, the sound pulse fails to unbind mass. Successful mass ejection is accompanied by significant fallback accretion that can last from hours to years. We predict the properties of shock breakout and thermal plateau emission produced by the ejection of the outer envelope of blue supergiant and Wolf-Rayet progenitors in otherwise failed supernovae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2366-2383
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 11 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Gravitation
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Neutrinos
  • Shock waves
  • Supernovae: general


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