skip to main content

Title: Nebular-phase spectra of Type Ia supernovae from the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Supernova Project
ABSTRACT

The observed diversity in Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) – the thermonuclear explosions of carbon–oxygen white dwarf stars used as cosmological standard candles – is currently met with a variety of explosion models and progenitor scenarios. To help improve our understanding of whether and how often different models contribute to the occurrence of SNe Ia and their assorted properties, we present a comprehensive analysis of seven nearby SNe Ia. We obtained one to two epochs of optical spectra with Gemini Observatory during the nebular phase (>200 d past peak) for each of these events, all of which had time series of photometry and spectroscopy at early times (the first ∼8 weeks after explosion). We use the combination of early- and late-time observations to assess the predictions of various models for the explosion (e.g. double-detonation, off-centre detonation, stellar collisions), progenitor star (e.g. ejecta mass, metallicity), and binary companion (e.g. another white dwarf or a non-degenerate star). Overall, we find general consistency in our observations with spherically symmetric models for SN Ia explosions, and with scenarios in which the binary companion is another degenerate star. We also present an in-depth analysis of SN 2017fzw, a member of the subgroup of SNe Ia which appear to be transitional between more » the subluminous ‘91bg-like’ events and normal SNe Ia, and for which nebular-phase spectra are rare.

« less
Authors:
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ;  ;  ;  
Award ID(s):
2008108 1813466 1813825 1911151 1911225
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10363308
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
511
Issue:
3
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 3682-3707
ISSN:
0035-8711
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Thermonuclear Supernovae (SNe Ia) are one of the building blocks of modern cosmology and laboratories for the explosion physics of White Dwarf star/s (WD) in close binary systems. The second star may be aWD(double degenerate systems, DD), or a non-degenerated star (SD) with a main sequence star, red giant or a helium star as companion (Branch et al. 1995; Nomoto et al. 2003; Wang & Han 2012). Light curves and spectra of the explosion look similar because a ’stellar amnesia’ (H¨oflich et al. 2006). Basic nuclear physics determines the progenitor structure and the explosion physics, breaking the link between progenitor evolution, and the explosion, resulting in three main classes of explosion scenarios: a) dynamical merging of two WD and a heating on time scales of seconds (Webbink 1984; Isern et al. 2011), b) surface helium detonations on top of a WD which ignite the central C/O by a detonation wave traveling inwards (Nomoto 1982; Hoeflich & Khokhlov 1996; Kromer et al. 2010); c) compressional heating in an accreting WD approaching the Chandrasekar mass on time of up to 108 years which may originated from SD and DD systems (Whelan & Iben 1973; Piersanti et al. 2003). Simulations of the explosionsmore »depend on the inital conditions at the onset of the explosions, namely the mass and angular momentum of the WD(s). For all scenarios, diversity in SNe Ia must be expected because the WD originates from a range of Main Sequence masses (MMS < 8M ) and metallicities Z. Moreover, there is growing evidence that magnetic fields B may have to be added to the ’mix’. Only with recent advances in observations ranging from X-ray to radio, high precision spectroscopy, polarimetry and photometry and in the time-domain astronomy we obtain constraints for progenitor, on the explosion scenarios and links emerge between the progenitors and their environment with LCs and spectral signatures needed for high precision cosmology. It is too early to give final answers but we present our personal view. We will give some examples from the theory point of view and discuss future prospects with upcoming ground based, ELT, GMT and space based such as JWST, Euclide and WFIRST instruments.« less
  2. Abstract We present high-cadence optical and ultraviolet light curves of the normal Type Ia supernova (SN) 2021aefx, which shows an early bump during the first two days of observation. This bump may be a signature of interaction between the exploding white dwarf and a nondegenerate binary companion, or it may be intrinsic to the white dwarf explosion mechanism. In the case of the former, the short duration of the bump implies a relatively compact main-sequence companion star, although this conclusion is viewing-angle dependent. Our best-fit companion-shocking and double-detonation models both overpredict the UV luminosity during the bump, and existing nickel-shell models do not match the strength and timescale of the bump. We also present nebular spectra of SN 2021aefx, which do not show the hydrogen or helium emission expected from a nondegenerate companion, as well as a radio nondetection that rules out all symbiotic progenitor systems and most accretion disk winds. Our analysis places strong but conflicting constraints on the progenitor of SN 2021aefx; no current model can explain all of our observations.
  3. 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
  4. ABSTRACT

    The progenitor systems and explosion mechanism of Type Ia supernovae are still unknown. Currently favoured progenitors include double-degenerate systems consisting of two carbon-oxygen white dwarfs with thin helium shells. In the double-detonation scenario, violent accretion leads to a helium detonation on the more massive primary white dwarf that turns into a carbon detonation in its core and explodes it. We investigate the fate of the secondary white dwarf, focusing on changes of the ejecta and observables of the explosion if the secondary explodes as well rather than survives. We simulate a binary system of a $1.05\, \mathrm{M_\odot }$ and a $0.7\, \mathrm{M_\odot }$ carbon-oxygen white dwarf with $0.03\, \mathrm{M_\odot }$ helium shells each. We follow the system self-consistently from inspiral to ignition, through the explosion, to synthetic observables. We confirm that the primary white dwarf explodes self-consistently. The helium detonation around the secondary white dwarf, however, fails to ignite a carbon detonation. We restart the simulation igniting the carbon detonation in the secondary white dwarf by hand and compare the ejecta and observables of both explosions. We find that the outer ejecta at $v~\gt ~15\, 000$ km s−1 are indistinguishable. Light curves and spectra are very similar until $\sim ~40more »\ \mathrm{d}$ after explosion and the ejecta are much more spherical than violent merger models. The inner ejecta differ significantly slowing down the decline rate of the bolometric light curve after maximum of the model with a secondary explosion by ∼20 per cent. We expect future synthetic 3D nebular spectra to confirm or rule out either model.

    « 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