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Old 06-14-2018, 11:12 PM
markn+ markn+ is online now
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I don't think you're reading that wikipedia article correctly (although it could be written more clearly). There are two mechanisms discussed, the accretion mechanism whereby a white dwarf gradually steals material from its neighbor ("single degenerate progenitor"), and the merger mechanism where two white dwarfs collide("double degenerate progenitor"). The statement you quoted says that supernovae _due to accretion_ have a uniform peak luminosity, but later says "double degenerate scenarios raise questions about the applicability of Type Ia supernovae as standard candles, since total mass of the two merging white dwarfs varies significantly, meaning luminosity also varies." It also says a merger of two white dwarfs is a "very rare event" but that statement is not cited and doesn't seem completely consistent with the discussion in the Double Degenerate Progenitor section. So EastUmpqua's question is valid, but I'd like to see where they have read that "most" type Ia events are mergers.