skip to main content

Title: Luminous Late-time Radio Emission from Supernovae Detected by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS)
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; or more » 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 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4895112 . « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2224255 2221789 1944985 1909796
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10351661
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume:
923
Issue:
2
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
L24
ISSN:
2041-8205
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract We present panchromatic observations and modeling of calcium-strong supernovae (SNe) 2021gno in the star-forming host-galaxy NGC 4165 and 2021inl in the outskirts of elliptical galaxy NGC 4923, both monitored through the Young Supernova Experiment transient survey. The light curves of both, SNe show two peaks, the former peak being derived from shock cooling emission (SCE) and/or shock interaction with circumstellar material (CSM). The primary peak in SN 2021gno is coincident with luminous, rapidly decaying X-ray emission ( L x = 5 × 10 41 erg s −1 ) detected by Swift-XRT at δ t = 1 day after explosion, this observation being the second-ever detection of X-rays from a calcium-strong transient. We interpret the X-ray emission in the context of shock interaction with CSM that extends to r < 3 × 10 14 cm. Based on X-ray modeling, we calculate a CSM mass M CSM = (0.3−1.6) × 10 −3 M ⊙ and density n = (1−4) × 10 10 cm −3 . Radio nondetections indicate a low-density environment at larger radii ( r > 10 16 cm) and mass-loss rate of M ̇ < 10 − 4 M ⊙ yr −1 . SCE modeling of both primary light-curvemore »peaks indicates an extended-progenitor envelope mass M e = 0.02−0.05 M ⊙ and radius R e = 30−230 R ⊙ . The explosion properties suggest progenitor systems containing either a low-mass massive star or a white dwarf (WD), the former being unlikely given the lack of local star formation. Furthermore, the environments of both SNe are consistent with low-mass hybrid He/C/O WD + C/O WD mergers.« less
  2. 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
  3. Abstract

    We present extensive multifrequency Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observations of the radio-bright supernova (SN) IIb SN 2004C that span ∼40–2793 days post-explosion. We interpret the temporal evolution of the radio spectral energy distribution in the context of synchrotron self-absorbed emission from the explosion’s forward shock as it expands in the circumstellar medium (CSM) previously sculpted by the mass-loss history of the stellar progenitor. VLBA observations and modeling of the VLA data point to a blastwave with average velocity ∼0.06cthat carries an energy of ≈1049erg. Our modeling further reveals a flat CSM density profileρCSMR−0.03±0.22up to a break radiusRbr≈ (1.96 ± 0.10) × 1016cm, with a steep density gradient followingρCSMR−2.3±0.5at larger radii. We infer that the flat part of the density profile corresponds to a CSM shell with mass ∼0.021M, and that the progenitor’s effective mass-loss rate varied with time over the range (50–500) × 10−5Myr−1for an adopted wind velocityvw= 1000 km s−1and shock microphysical parametersϵe= 0.1,ϵB= 0.01. These results add to the mounting observational evidence for departures from the traditional single-wind mass-loss scenarios in evolved, massive stars in the centuries leading up to core collapse. Potentially viable scenarios include mass lossmore »powered by gravity waves and/or interaction with a binary companion.

    « less
  4. Abstract

    A growing number of core-collapse supernovae (SNe) that show evidence for interaction with dense circumstellar medium (CSM) are accompanied by “precursor” optical emission rising weeks to months prior to the explosion. The precursor luminosities greatly exceed the Eddington limit of the progenitor star, implying that they are accompanied by substantial mass loss. Here, we present a semi-analytic model for SN precursor light curves, which we apply to constrain the properties and mechanisms of the pre-explosion mass loss. We explore two limiting mass-loss scenarios: (1) an “eruption” arising from shock breakout following impulsive energy deposition below the stellar surface; and (2) a steady “wind,” due to sustained heating of the progenitor envelope. The eruption model, which resembles a scaled-down version of Type IIP SNe, can explain the luminosities and timescales of well-sampled precursors, for ejecta masses ∼ 0.1–1Mand velocities ∼ 100–1000 km s−1. By contrast, the steady wind scenario cannot explain the highest precursor luminosities ≳ 1041erg s−1, under the constraint that the total ejecta mass does not exceed the entire progenitor mass (though the less luminous SN 2020tlf precursor can be explained by a mass-loss rate ∼ 1Myr−1). However, shock interaction between the wind and pre-existing (earlier ejected) CSMmore »may boost its radiative efficiency and mitigate this constraint. In both the eruption and wind scenarios, the precursor ejecta forms compact (≲1015cm) optically thick CSM at the time of core collapse; though only directly observable via rapid post-explosion spectroscopy (≲ a few days before being overtaken by the SN ejecta), this material can boost the SN luminosity via shock interaction.

    « less
  5. Abstract We present deep X-ray and radio observations of the fast blue optical transient (FBOT) AT 2020xnd/ZTF 20acigmel at z = 0.2433 from 13 days to 269 days after explosion. AT 2020xnd belongs to the category of optically luminous FBOTs with similarities to the archetypal event AT 2018cow. AT 2020xnd shows luminous radio emission reaching L ν ≈ 8 × 10 29 erg s −1 Hz −1 at 20 GHz and 75 days post-explosion, accompanied by luminous and rapidly fading soft X-ray emission peaking at L X ≈ 6 × 10 42 erg s −1 . Interpreting the radio emission in the context of synchrotron radiation from the explosion’s shock interaction with the environment, we find that AT 2020xnd launched a high-velocity outflow ( v ∼ 0.1 c –0.2 c ) propagating into a dense circumstellar medium (effective M ̇ ≈ 10 − 3 M ⊙ yr −1 for an assumed wind velocity of v w = 1000 km s −1 ). Similar to AT 2018cow, the detected X-ray emission is in excess compared to the extrapolated synchrotron spectrum and constitutes a different emission component, possibly powered by accretion onto a newly formed black hole or neutron star. These propertiesmore »make AT 2020xnd a high-redshift analog to AT 2018cow, and establish AT 2020xnd as the fourth member of the class of optically luminous FBOTs with luminous multiwavelength counterparts.« less