Wave-driven mass loss: A mechanism for late-stage stellar eruptions

Josh Shiode, Eliot Quataert

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


During the late stages of stellar evolution in massive stars (carbon fusion and later), the fusion and neutrino luminosities in the core of the star exceed the Eddington luminosity. This can drive vigorous convective motions which in turn excite a super-Eddington flux in internal gravity waves. We show that an interesting fraction of the energy in excited gravity waves can, in some cases, convert into sound waves as the gravity waves propagate (tunnel) towards the stellar surface. The subsequent dissipation of the sound waves can unbind up to several M · of the stellar envelope. This wave-driven mass loss can explain the existence of extremely large stellar mass loss rates just prior to core-collapse, which are inferred via circumstellar interaction in some core-collapse supernovae (e.g., SNe 2006gy and PTF 09uj).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDeath of Massive Stars
Subtitle of host publicationSupernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts
EditorsPeter W. A. San Antonio, Nobuyuki Kawai, Elena Pian
Number of pages2
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • outflows; supernovae: general
  • stars: mass loss
  • winds


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