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Title: The whisper of a whimper of a bang: 2400 d of the Type Ia SN 2011fe reveals the decay of 55Fe
ABSTRACT

We analyse new multifilter Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photometry of the normal Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2011fe out to ≈2400 d after maximum light, the latest observations to date of a SN Ia. We model the pseudo-bolometric light curve with a simple radioactive decay model and find energy input from both 57Co and 55Fe are needed to power the late-time luminosity. This is the first detection of 55Fe in a SN Ia. We consider potential sources of contamination such as a surviving companion star or delaying the deposition time-scale for 56Co positrons but these scenarios are ultimately disfavored. The relative isotopic abundances place direct constraints on the burning conditions experienced by the white dwarf (WD). Additionally, we place a conservative upper limit of <10−3 M⊙ on the synthesized mass of 44Ti. Only two classes of explosion models are currently consistent with all observations of SN 2011fe: (1) the delayed detonation of a low-ρc, near-MCh (1.2–1.3 M⊙) WD, or (2) a sub-MCh (1.0–1.1 M⊙) WD experiencing a thin-shell double detonation.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10378301
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
517
Issue:
3
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 4119-4131
ISSN:
0035-8711
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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