skip to main content

Title: Concerning colour: The effect of environment on type Ia supernova colour in the dark energy survey

Recent analyses have found intriguing correlations between the colour (c) of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) and the size of their ‘mass-step’, the relationship between SN Ia host galaxy stellar mass (Mstellar) and SN Ia Hubble residual, and suggest that the cause of this relationship is dust. Using 675 photometrically classified SNe Ia from the Dark Energy Survey 5-yr sample, we study the differences in Hubble residual for a variety of global host galaxy and local environmental properties for SN Ia subsamples split by their colour. We find a 3σ difference in the mass-step when comparing blue (c < 0) and red (c > 0) SNe. We observe the lowest r.m.s. scatter (∼0.14 mag) in the Hubble residual for blue SNe in low mass/blue environments, suggesting that this is the most homogeneous sample for cosmological analyses. By fitting for c-dependent relationships between Hubble residuals and Mstellar, approximating existing dust models, we remove the mass-step from the data and find tentative ∼2σ residual steps in rest-frame galaxy U − R colour. This indicates that dust modelling based on Mstellar may not fully explain the remaining dispersion in SN Ia luminosity. Instead, accounting for a c-dependent relationship between Hubble residuals and global U − R, results in ≤1σ residual steps in Mstellar and local U − R, suggesting that U − R provides different information about the environment of SNe Ia compared to Mstellar, and motivating the inclusion of galaxy U − R colour in SN Ia distance bias correction.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 3046-3063
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are more precise standardizable candles when measured in the near-infrared (NIR) than in the optical. With this motivation, from 2012 to 2017 we embarked on the RAISIN program with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to obtain rest-frame NIR light curves for a cosmologically distant sample of 37 SNe Ia (0.2 ≲z≲ 0.6) discovered by Pan-STARRS and the Dark Energy Survey. By comparing higher-zHST data with 42 SNe Ia atz< 0.1 observed in the NIR by the Carnegie Supernova Project, we construct a Hubble diagram from NIR observations (with only time of maximum light and some selection cuts from optical photometry) to pursue a unique avenue to constrain the dark energy equation-of-state parameter,w. We analyze the dependence of the full set of Hubble residuals on the SN Ia host galaxy mass and find Hubble residual steps of size ∼0.06-0.1 mag with 1.5σ−2.5σsignificance depending on the method and step location used. Combining our NIR sample with cosmic microwave background constraints, we find 1 +w= −0.17 ± 0.12 (statistical + systematic errors). The largest systematic errors are the redshift-dependent SN selection biases and the properties of the NIR mass step. We also use these data to measureH0= 75.9 ± 2.2 km s−1Mpc−1from stars with geometric distance calibration in the hosts of eight SNe Ia observed in the NIR versusH0= 71.2 ± 3.8 km s−1Mpc−1using an inverse distance ladder approach tied to Planck. Using optical data, we find 1 +w= −0.10 ± 0.09, and with optical and NIR data combined, we find 1 +w= −0.06 ± 0.07; these shifts of up to ∼0.11 inwcould point to inconsistency in the optical versus NIR SN models. There will be many opportunities to improve this NIR measurement and better understand systematic uncertainties through larger low-zsamples, new light-curve models, calibration improvements, and eventually by building high-zsamples from the Roman Space Telescope.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The unknown cause of the correlation between Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) Hubble residuals and their host-galaxy masses (the “mass step”) may bias cosmological parameter measurements. To better understand the mass step, we develop a SALT3 light-curve model for SN cosmology that uses the host-galaxy masses of 296 low-redshift SNe Ia to derive a spectral energy distribution–host-galaxy mass relationship. The resulting model has larger CaiiH and K, Caiinear-infrared triplet, and Siiiequivalent widths for SNe in low-mass host galaxies at 2.2–2.7σsignificance; this indicates higher explosion energies per unit mass in low-mass-hosted SNe. The model has phase-dependent changes in SN Ia colors as a function of host mass, indicating intrinsic differences in mean broadband light curves. Although the model provides a better fit to the SN data overall, it does not substantially reduce data–model residuals for a typical light curve in our sample nor does it significantly reduce Hubble residual dispersion. This is because we find that previous SALT models parameterized most host-galaxy dependencies with their first principal component, although they failed to model some significant spectral variations. Our new model is luminosity and cosmology independent, and applying it to data reduces the mass step by 0.021 ± 0.002 mag (uncertainty accounts for correlated data sets); these results indicate that ∼35% of the mass step can be attributed to luminosity-independent effects. This SALT model version could be trained using alternative host-galaxy properties and at different redshifts, and therefore will be a tool for understanding redshift-dependent correlations between SNe Ia and their host properties as well as their impact on cosmological parameter measurements.

    more » « less

    Cosmological analyses with type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) often assume a single empirical relation between colour and luminosity (β) and do not account for varying host-galaxy dust properties. However, from studies of dust in large samples of galaxies, it is known that dust attenuation can vary significantly. Here, we take advantage of state-of-the-art modelling of galaxy properties to characterize dust parameters (dust attenuation AV, and a parameter describing the dust law slope RV) for 1100 Dark Energy Survey (DES) SN host galaxies. Utilizing optical and infrared data of the hosts alone, we find three key aspects of host dust that impact SN cosmology: (1) there exists a large range (∼1–6) of host RV; (2) high-stellar mass hosts have RV on average ∼0.7 lower than that of low-mass hosts; (3) for a subsample of 81 spectroscopically classified SNe there is a significant (>3σ) correlation between the Hubble diagram residuals of red SNe Ia and the host RV that when corrected for reduces scatter by $\sim 13{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ and the significance of the ‘mass step’ to ∼1σ. These represent independent confirmations of recent predictions based on dust that attempted to explain the puzzling ‘mass step’ and intrinsic scatter (σint) in SN Ia analyses.

    more » « less

    Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) cosmology analyses include a luminosity step function in their distance standardization process to account for an observed yet unexplained difference in the post-standardization luminosities of SNe Ia originating from different host galaxy populations [e.g. high-mass ($M \gtrsim 10^{10} \, {\rm M}_{\odot }$) versus low-mass galaxies]. We present a novel method for including host-mass correlations in the SALT3 (Spectral Adaptive Light curve Template 3) light curve model used for standardizing SN Ia distances. We split the SALT3 training sample according to host-mass, training independent models for the low- and high-host-mass samples. Our models indicate that there are different average Si ii spectral feature strengths between the two populations, and that the average spectral energy distribution of SNe from low-mass galaxies is bluer than the high-mass counterpart. We then use our trained models to perform an SN cosmology analysis on the 3-yr spectroscopically confirmed Dark Energy Survey SN sample, treating SNe from low- and high-mass host galaxies as separate populations throughout. We find that our mass-split models reduce the Hubble residual scatter in the sample, albeit at a low statistical significance. We do find a reduction in the mass-correlated luminosity step but conclude that this arises from the model-dependent re-definition of the fiducial SN absolute magnitude rather than the models themselves. Our results stress the importance of adopting a standard definition of the SN parameters (x0, x1, c) in order to extract the most value out of the light curve modelling tools that are currently available and to correctly interpret results that are fit with different models.

    more » « less
  5. ABSTRACT We present improved photometric measurements for the host galaxies of 206 spectroscopically confirmed type Ia supernovae discovered by the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Program (DES-SN) and used in the first DES-SN cosmological analysis. For the DES-SN sample, when considering a 5D (z, x1, c, α, β) bias correction, we find evidence of a Hubble residual ‘mass step’, where SNe Ia in high-mass galaxies (>1010M⊙) are intrinsically more luminous (after correction) than their low-mass counterparts by $\gamma =0.040\pm 0.019$ mag. This value is larger by 0.031 mag than the value found in the first DES-SN cosmological analysis. This difference is due to a combination of updated photometric measurements and improved star formation histories and is not from host-galaxy misidentification. When using a 1D (redshift-only) bias correction the inferred mass step is larger, with $\gamma =0.066\pm 0.020$ mag. The 1D−5D γ difference for DES-SN is $0.026\pm 0.009$ mag. We show that this difference is due to a strong correlation between host galaxy stellar mass and the x1 component of the 5D distance-bias correction. Including an intrinsic correlation between the observed properties of SNe Ia, stretch and colour, and stellar mass in simulated SN Ia samples, we show that a 5D fit recovers γ with −9 mmag bias compared to a +2 mmag bias for a 1D fit. This difference can explain part of the discrepancy seen in the data. Improvements in modelling correlations between galaxy properties and SN is necessary to ensure unbiased precision estimates of the dark energy equation of state as we enter the era of LSST. 
    more » « less