skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on May 1, 2023

Title: Galactic Positrons from Thermonuclear Supernovae
Abstract Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) may originate from a wide variety of explosion scenarios and progenitor channels. They exhibit a factor of ≈10 difference in brightness and thus a differentiation in the mass of 56 Ni → 56 Co → 56 Fe. We present a study on the fate of positrons within SNe Ia in order to evaluate their escape fractions and energy spectra. Our detailed Monte Carlo transport simulations for positrons and γ -rays include both β + decay of 56 Co and pair production. We simulate a wide variety of explosion scenarios, including the explosion of white dwarfs (WDs) close to the Chandrasekhar mass ( M Ch ), He-triggered explosions of sub- M Ch WDs, and dynamical mergers of two WDs. For each model, we study the influence of the size and morphology of the progenitor magnetic field between 1 and 10 13 G. Population synthesis based on the observed brightness distribution of SNe Ia was used to estimate the overall contributions to Galactic positrons due to escape from SNe Ia. We find that this is dominated by SNe Ia of normal brightness, where variations in the distribution of emitted positrons are small. We estimate a total more » SNe Ia contribution to Galactic positrons of <2% and, depending on the magnetic field morphology, <6–20% for M Ch and sub- M Ch , respectively. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1715133
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10351309
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
930
Issue:
2
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
107
ISSN:
0004-637X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Context. At present, there are strong indications that white dwarf (WD) stars with masses well below the Chandrasekhar limit ( M Ch ≈ 1.4 M ⊙ ) contribute a significant fraction of SN Ia progenitors. The relative fraction of stable iron-group elements synthesized in the explosion has been suggested as a possible discriminant between M Ch and sub- M Ch events. In particular, it is thought that the higher-density ejecta of M Ch WDs, which favours the synthesis of stable isotopes of nickel, results in prominent [Ni  II ] lines in late-time spectra (≳150 d past explosion). Aims. We study the explosive nucleosynthesis of stable nickel in SNe Ia resulting from M Ch and sub- M Ch progenitors. We explore the potential for lines of [Ni  II ] in the optical an near-infrared (at 7378 Å and 1.94 μm) in late-time spectra to serve as a diagnostic of the exploding WD mass. Methods. We reviewed stable Ni yields across a large variety of published SN Ia models. Using 1D M Ch delayed-detonation and sub- M Ch detonation models, we studied the synthesis of stable Ni isotopes (in particular, 58 Ni) and investigated the formation of [Ni  II ] lines usingmore »non-local thermodynamic equilibrium radiative-transfer simulations with the CMFGEN code. Results. We confirm that stable Ni production is generally more efficient in M Ch explosions at solar metallicity (typically 0.02–0.08 M ⊙ for the 58 Ni isotope), but we note that the 58 Ni yield in sub- M Ch events systematically exceeds 0.01 M ⊙ for WDs that are more massive than one solar mass. We find that the radiative proton-capture reaction 57 Co( p ,  γ ) 58 Ni is the dominant production mode for 58 Ni in both M Ch and sub- M Ch models, while the α -capture reaction on 54 Fe has a negligible impact on the final 58 Ni yield. More importantly, we demonstrate that the lack of [Ni  II ] lines in late-time spectra of sub- M Ch events is not always due to an under-abundance of stable Ni; rather, it results from the higher ionization of Ni in the inner ejecta. Conversely, the strong [Ni  II ] lines predicted in our 1D M Ch models are completely suppressed when 56 Ni is sufficiently mixed with the innermost layers, which are rich in stable iron-group elements. Conclusions. [Ni  II ] lines in late-time SN Ia spectra have a complex dependency on the abundance of stable Ni, which limits their use in distinguishing among M Ch and sub- M Ch progenitors. However, we argue that a low-luminosity SN Ia displaying strong [Ni  II ] lines would most likely result from a Chandrasekhar-mass progenitor.« less
  2. 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
  3. Abstract We present and analyze a near-infrared (NIR) spectrum of the underluminous Type Ia supernova SN 2020qxp/ASASSN-20jq obtained with NIRES at the Keck Observatory, 191 days after B -band maximum. The spectrum is dominated by a number of broad emission features, including the [Fe ii ] at 1.644 μ m, which is highly asymmetric with a tilted top and a peak redshifted by ≈2000 km s −1 . In comparison with 2D non-LTE synthetic spectra computed from 3D simulations of off-center delayed-detonation Chandrasekhar-mass ( M ch ) white dwarf (WD) models, we find good agreement between the observed lines and the synthetic profiles, and are able to unravel the structure of the progenitor’s envelope. We find that the size and tilt of the [Fe ii ] 1.644 μ m profile (in velocity space) is an effective way to determine the location of an off-center delayed-detonation transition (DDT) and the viewing angle, and it requires a WD with a high central density of ∼4 × 10 9 g cm −3 . We also tentatively identify a stable Ni feature around 1.9 μ m characterized by a “pot-belly” profile that is slightly offset with respect to the kinematic center. In the casemore »of SN 2020qxp/ASASSN-20jq, we estimate that the location of the DDT is ∼0.3 M WD off center, which gives rise to an asymmetric distribution of the underlying ejecta. We also demonstrate that low-luminosity and high-density WD SN Ia progenitors exhibit a very strong overlap of Ca and 56 Ni in physical space. This results in the formation of a prevalent [Ca ii ] 0.73 μ m emission feature that is sensitive to asymmetry effects. Our findings are discussed within the context of alternative scenarios, including off-center C/O detonations in He-triggered sub- M Ch WDs and the direct collision of two WDs. Snapshot programs with Gemini/Keck/Very Large Telescope (VLT)/ELT-class instruments and our spectropolarimetry program are complementary to mid-IR spectra by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).« less
  4. Abstract We present a study of the influence of magnetic field strength and morphology in Type Ia supernovae and their late-time light curves and spectra. In order to both capture self-consistent magnetic field topologies and evolve our models to late times, a two-stage approach is taken. We study the early deflagration phase (∼1 s) using a variety of magnetic field strengths and find that the topology of the field is set by the burning, independent of the initial strength. We study late-time (∼1000 days) light curves and spectra with a variety of magnetic field topologies and infer magnetic field strengths from observed supernovae. Lower limits are found to be 10 6 G. This is determined by the escape, or lack thereof, of positrons that are tied to the magnetic field. The first stage employs 3D MHD and a local burning approximation and uses the code Enzo. The second stage employs a hybrid approach, with 3D radiation and positron transport and spherical hydrodynamics. The second stage uses the code HYDRA. In our models, magnetic field amplification remains small during the early deflagration phase. Late-time spectra bear the imprint of both magnetic field strength and morphology. Implications for alternative explosion scenarios aremore »discussed.« less
  5. Aims . We present a comprehensive dataset of optical and near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of type Ia supernova (SN) 2016hnk, combined with integral field spectroscopy (IFS) of its host galaxy, MCG -01-06-070, and nearby environment. Our goal with this complete dataset is to understand the nature of this peculiar object. Methods . Properties of the SN local environment are characterized by means of single stellar population synthesis applied to IFS observations taken two years after the SN exploded. We performed detailed analyses of SN photometric data by studying its peculiar light and color curves. SN 2016hnk spectra were compared to other 1991bg-like SNe Ia, 2002es-like SNe Ia, and Ca-rich transients. In addition, we used abundance stratification modeling to identify the various spectral features in the early phase spectral sequence and also compared the dataset to a modified non-LTE model previously produced for the sublumnious SN 1999by. Results . SN 2016hnk is consistent with being a subluminous ( M B  = −16.7 mag, s B V =0.43 ± 0.03), highly reddened object. The IFS of its host galaxy reveals both a significant amount of dust at the SN location, residual star formation, and a high proportion of old stellar populations in themore »local environment compared to other locations in the galaxy, which favors an old progenitor for SN 2016hnk. Inspection of a nebular spectrum obtained one year after maximum contains two narrow emission lines attributed to the forbidden [Ca  II ] λ λ 7291,7324 doublet with a Doppler shift of 700 km s −1 . Based on various observational diagnostics, we argue that the progenitor of SN 2016hnk was likely a near Chandrasekhar-mass ( M Ch ) carbon-oxygen white dwarf that produced 0.108 M ⊙ of 56 Ni. Our modeling suggests that the narrow [Ca  II ] features observed in the nebular spectrum are associated with 48 Ca from electron capture during the explosion, which is expected to occur only in white dwarfs that explode near or at the M Ch limit.« less