skip to main content

Title: A transient radio source consistent with a merger-triggered core collapse supernova
A core collapse supernova occurs when exothermic fusion ceases in the core of a massive star, which is typically caused by exhaustion of nuclear fuel. Theory predicts that fusion could be interrupted earlier by merging of the star with a compact binary companion. We report a luminous radio transient, VT J121001+495647, found in the Very Large Array Sky Survey. The radio emission is consistent with supernova ejecta colliding with a dense shell of material, potentially ejected by binary interaction in the centuries before explosion. We associate the supernova with an archival x-ray transient, which implies that a relativistic jet was launched during the explosion. The combination of an early relativistic jet and late-time dense interaction is consistent with expectations for a merger-driven explosion.
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1125 to 1129
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract We present a population of 19 radio-luminous supernovae (SNe) with emission reaching L ν ∼ 10 26 –10 29 erg s −1 Hz −1 in the first epoch of the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS) at 2–4 GHz. Our sample includes one long gamma-ray burst, SN 2017iuk/GRB 171205A, and 18 core-collapse SNe detected at ≈1–60 yr after explosion. No thermonuclear explosion shows evidence for bright radio emission, and hydrogen-poor progenitors dominate the subsample of core-collapse events with spectroscopic classification at the time of explosion (79%). We interpret these findings in the context of the expected radio emission from the forward shock interaction with the circumstellar medium (CSM). We conclude that these observations require a departure from the single wind–like density profile (i.e., ρ CSM ∝ r −2 ) that is expected around massive stars and/or from a spherical Newtonian shock. Viable alternatives include the shock interaction with a detached, dense shell of CSM formed by a large effective progenitor mass-loss rate, M ̇ ∼ 10 − 4 – 10 − 1 M ⊙ yr −1 (for an assumed wind velocity of 1000 km s −1 ); emission from an off-axis relativistic jet entering our line of sight; ormore »the emergence of emission from a newly born pulsar-wind nebula. The relativistic SN 2012ap that is detected 5.7 and 8.5 yr after explosion with L ν ∼ 10 28 erg s −1 Hz −1 might constitute the first detections of an off-axis jet+cocoon system in a massive star. However, none of the VLASS SNe with archival data points are consistent with our model off-axis jet light curves. Future multiwavelength observations will distinguish among these scenarios. Our VLASS source catalogs, which were used to perform the VLASS cross-matching, are publicly available at .« less
  2. Abstract We present observations of SN 2021csp, the second example of a newly identified type of supernova (SN) hallmarked by strong, narrow, P Cygni carbon features at early times (Type Icn). The SN appears as a fast and luminous blue transient at early times, reaching a peak absolute magnitude of −20 within 3 days due to strong interaction between fast SN ejecta ( v ≈ 30,000 km s −1 ) and a massive, dense, fast-moving C/O wind shed by the WC-like progenitor months before explosion. The narrow-line features disappear from the spectrum 10–20 days after explosion and are replaced by a blue continuum dominated by broad Fe features, reminiscent of Type Ibn and IIn supernovae and indicative of weaker interaction with more extended H/He-poor material. The transient then abruptly fades ∼60 days post-explosion when interaction ceases. Deep limits at later phases suggest minimal heavy-element nucleosynthesis, a low ejecta mass, or both, and imply an origin distinct from that of classical Type Ic SNe. We place SN 2021csp in context with other fast-evolving interacting transients, and discuss various progenitor scenarios: an ultrastripped progenitor star, a pulsational pair-instability eruption, or a jet-driven fallback SN from a Wolf–Rayet (W-R) star. The fallback scenariomore »would naturally explain the similarity between these events and radio-loud fast transients, and suggests a picture in which most stars massive enough to undergo a W-R phase collapse directly to black holes at the end of their lives.« less
  3. We describe the first observations of the same celestial object with gravitational waves and light. ▪  GW170817 was the first detection of a neutron star merger with gravitational waves. ▪  The detection of a spatially coincident weak burst of gamma-rays (GRB 170817A) 1.7 s after the merger constituted the first electromagnetic detection of a gravitational wave source and established a connection between at least some cosmic short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) and binary neutron star mergers. ▪  A fast-evolving optical and near-infrared transient (AT 2017gfo) associated with the event can be interpreted as resulting from the ejection of ∼0.05 M ⊙ of material enriched in r-process elements, finally establishing binary neutron star mergers as at least one source of r-process nucleosynthesis. ▪  Radio and X-ray observations revealed a long-rising source that peaked ∼160,d after the merger. Combined with the apparent superluminal motion of the associated very long baseline interferometry source, these observations show that the merger produced a relativistic structured jet whose core was oriented ≈20 deg from the line of sight and with properties similar to SGRBs. The jet structure likely results from interaction between the jet and the merger ejecta. ▪  The electromagnetic and gravitational wave information can bemore »combined to produce constraints on the expansion rate of the Universe and the equation of state of dense nuclear matter. These multimessenger endeavors will be a major emphasis of future work.« less
  4. We present optical photometry and spectroscopy of the Type II supernova ASASSN-14jb, together with Very Large Telescope (VLT) Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral field observations of its host galaxy and a nebular-phase spectrum. This supernova, in the nearby galaxy ESO 467-G051 ( z  = 0.006), was discovered and followed-up by the all-sky automated survey for supernovae (ASAS-SN). We obtained well-sampled las cumbres network (LCOGTN) B V g r i and Swift w 2 m 1 w 1 u b v optical, near-UV/optical light curves, and several optical spectra in the early photospheric phases. The transient ASASSN-14jb exploded ∼2 kpc above the star-forming disk of ESO 467-G051, an edge-on disk galaxy. The large projected distance from the disk of the supernova position and the non-detection of any H II region in a 1.4 kpc radius in projection are in conflict with the standard environment of core-collapse supernova progenitors and suggests the possible scenario that the progenitor received a kick in a binary interaction. We present analysis of the optical light curves and spectra, from which we derived a distance of 25 ± 2 Mpc using state-of-the-art empirical methods for Type II SNe, physical properties of the SN explosion ( 56 Ni mass, explosionmore »energy, and ejected mass), and properties of the progenitor; namely the progenitor radius, mass, and metallicity. Our analysis yields a 56 Ni mass of 0.0210  ±  0.0025  M ⊙ , an explosion energy of ≈0.25 × 10 51 ergs, and an ejected mass of ≈6  M ⊙ . We also constrained the progenitor radius to be R *  = 580  ±  28  R ⊙ which seems to be consistent with the sub-Solar metallicity of 0.3  ±  0.1  Z ⊙ derived from the supernova Fe II λ 5018 line. The nebular spectrum constrains strongly the progenitor mass to be in the range 10–12 M ⊙ . From the Spitzer data archive we detect ASASSN-14jb ≈330 days past explosion and we derived a total dust mass of 10 −4   M ⊙ from the 3.6 μ m and 4.5 μ m photometry. Using the F U V , N U V , B V g r i , K s , 3.6 μ m, and 4.5 μ m total magnitudes for the host galaxy, we fit stellar population synthesis models, which give an estimate of M *  ≈ 1 × 10 9   M ⊙ , an age of 3.2 Gyr, and a SFR ≈0.07  M ⊙ yr −1 . We also discuss the low oxygen abundance of the host galaxy derived from the MUSE data, having an average of 12 + log(O/H) = 8.27 +0.16 −0.20 using the O 3 N 2 diagnostic with strong line methods. We compared it with the supernova spectra, which is also consistent with a sub-Solar metallicity progenitor. Following recent observations of extraplanar H II regions in nearby edge-on galaxies, we derived the metallicity offset from the disk, being positive, but consistent with zero at 2 σ , suggesting enrichment from disk outflows. We finally discuss the possible scenarios for the unusual environment for ASASSN-14jb and conclude that either the in-situ star formation or runaway scenario would imply a low-mass progenitor, agreeing with our estimate from the supernova nebular spectrum. Regardless of the true origin of ASASSN-14jb, we show that the detailed study of the environment roughly agree with the stronger constraints from the observation of the transient.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We present X-ray and radio observations of what may be the closest Type Iax supernova (SN) to date, SN 2014dt (d = 12.3–19.3 Mpc), and provide tight constraints on the radio and X-ray emission. We infer a specific radio luminosity $L_R\lt (1.0\!-\!2.4)\times 10^{25}\, \rm {erg\, s^{-1}\, Hz^{-1}}$ at a frequency of 7.5 GHz and a X-ray luminosity $L_X\lt 1.4\times 10^{38}\, \rm {erg\, s^{-1}}$ (0.3–10 keV) at ∼38–48 d post-explosion. We interpret these limits in the context of Inverse Compton (IC) emission and synchrotron emission from a population of electrons accelerated at the forward shock of the explosion in a power-law distribution $N_e(\gamma _e)\propto \gamma _e^{-p}$ with p = 3. Our analysis constrains the progenitor system mass-loss rate to be $\dot{M}\lt 5.0 \times 10^{-6} \rm {M_{\odot }\, yr^{-1}}$ at distances $r\lesssim 10^{16}\, \rm {cm}$ for an assumed wind velocity $v_w=100\, \rm {km\, s^{-1}}$, and a fraction of post-shock energy into magnetic fields and relativistic electrons of ϵB = 0.01 and ϵe = 0.1, respectively. This result rules out some of the parameter space of symbiotic giant star companions, and it is consistent with the low mass-loss rates expected from He-star companions. Our calculations also show that the improved sensitivity of the next-generation Very Largemore »Array (ngVLA) is needed to probe the very low-density media characteristic of He stars that are the leading model for binary stellar companions of white dwarfs giving origin to Type Iax SNe.« less