Magnetorotational core-collapse supernovae in three dimensions

Philipp Mösta, Sherwood Richers, Christian D. Ott, Roland Haas, Anthony L. Piro, Kristen Boydstun, Ernazar Abdikamalov, Christian Reisswig, Erik Schnetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results of new three-dimensional (3D) general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of rapidly rotating strongly magnetized core collapse. These simulations are the first of their kind and include a microphysical finite-temperature equation of state and a leakage scheme that captures the overall energetics and lepton number exchange due to postbounce neutrino emission. Our results show that the 3D dynamics of magnetorotational core-collapse supernovae are fundamentally different from what was anticipated on the basis of previous simulations in axisymmetry (2D). A strong bipolar jet that develops in a simulation constrained to 2D is crippled by a spiral instability and fizzles in full 3D. While multiple (magneto-)hydrodynamic instabilities may be present, our analysis suggests that the jet is disrupted by an m = 1 kink instability of the ultra-strong toroidal field near the rotation axis. Instead of an axially symmetric jet, a completely new, previously unreported flow structure develops. Highly magnetized spiral plasma funnels expelled from the core push out the shock in polar regions, creating wide secularly expanding lobes. We observe no runaway explosion by the end of the full 3D simulation 185 ms after bounce. At this time, the lobes have reached maximum radii of 900 km.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL29
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 20 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • gamma-ray burst: general
  • instabilities
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • neutrinos
  • supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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