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  1. Abstract Initially classified as a Type Ib supernova (SN), ∼100 days after the explosion SN 2014C made a transition to a Type II SN, presenting a gradual increase in the H α emission. This has been interpreted as evidence of interaction between the SN shock wave and a massive shell previously ejected from the progenitor star. In this paper we present numerical simulations of the propagation of the SN shock through the progenitor star and its wind, as well as the interaction of the SN ejecta with the massive shell. To determine with high precision the structure and location of the shell, we couple a genetic algorithm to a hydrodynamic and a bremsstrahlung radiation transfer code. We iteratively modify the density stratification and location of the shell by minimizing the variance between X-ray observations and synthetic predictions computed from the numerical model, allowing the shell structure to be completely arbitrary. By assuming spherical symmetry, we found that our best-fit model has a shell mass of 2.6 M ⊙ ; extends from 1.6 × 10 16 cm to 1.87 × 10 17 cm, implying that it was ejected ∼ 60/( v w /100 km s −1 ) yr before the SNmore »explosion; and has a density stratification with an average behavior ∼ r −3 but presenting density fluctuations larger than one order of magnitude. Finally, we predict that if the density stratification follows the same power-law behavior, the SN will break out from the shell by mid-2022, i.e., 8.5 yr after explosion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023