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Title: JWST Imaging of the Cartwheel Galaxy Reveals Dust Associated with SN 2021afdx

We present near- and mid-infrared (0.9–18μm) photometry of supernova (SN) 2021afdx, which was imaged serendipitously with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as part of its Early Release Observations of the Cartwheel Galaxy. Our ground-based optical observations show it is likely to be a Type IIb SN, the explosion of a yellow supergiant, and its infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) ≈200 days after explosion shows two distinct components, which we attribute to hot ejecta and warm dust. By fitting models of dust emission to the SED, we derive a dust mass of(3.80.3+0.5)×103M, which is the highest yet observed in a Type IIb SN but consistent with other Type II SNe observed by the Spitzer Space Telescope. We also find that the radius of the dust is significantly larger than the radius of the ejecta, as derived from spectroscopic velocities during the photospheric phase, which implies that we are seeing an infrared echo off of preexisting dust in the progenitor environment, rather than dust newly formed by the SN. Our results show the power of JWST to address questions of dust formation in SNe, and therefore the presence of dust in the early universe, more » with much larger samples than have been previously possible.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. L18
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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