One-armed spiral instability in a low-t/|W| postbounce supernova core

Christian D. Ott, Shangli Ou, Joel E. Tohline, Adam S. Burrows

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional, Newtonian hydrodynamic technique is used to follow the postbounce phase of a stellar core collapse event. For realistic initial data, we have employed post-core-bounce snapshots of the iron core of a 20 M star. The models exhibit strong differential rotation but have centrally condensed density stratifications. We demonstrate for the first time that such postbounce cores are subject to a so-called low-T/|W| nonaxisymmetric instability and, in particular, can become dynamically unstable to an (m = 1)-dominated spiral mode at T/|W| ∼ 0.08. We calculate the gravitational wave (GW) emission by the instability and find that the emitted waves may be detectable by current and future GW observatories from anywhere in the Milky Way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L119-L122
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Gravitational waves
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Instabilities
  • Stars: neutron
  • Stars: rotation


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