Globular clusters as testbeds for type Ia supernovae

Eric Pfahl, Evan Scannapieco, Lars Bildsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Fundamental mysteries remain regarding the physics of Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) and their stellar progenitors. We argue here that important clues to these questions may emerge by the identification of those SNIa that occur in extragalactic globular clusters-stellar systems with well-defined ages and metallicities. We estimate an all-sky rate of 0.1η(D/100 Mpc)3 yr-1 for SNIa in globular clusters within a distance D, where η is the rate enhancement per unit mass as a result of dynamical production channels that are inaccessible in the galactic field. If η 2-10, as suggested by observations and theory, the combined efforts of accurate supernova astrometry and deep follow-up imaging should identify the ≳1% of nearby (D < 100 Mpc) SNIa that occur in globular clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L111-L114
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Galaxies: general
  • Globular clusters: general
  • Supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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