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  1. Abstract

    We present extensive multifrequency Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observations of the radio-bright supernova (SN) IIb SN 2004C that span ∼40–2793 days post-explosion. We interpret the temporal evolution of the radio spectral energy distribution in the context of synchrotron self-absorbed emission from the explosion’s forward shock as it expands in the circumstellar medium (CSM) previously sculpted by the mass-loss history of the stellar progenitor. VLBA observations and modeling of the VLA data point to a blastwave with average velocity ∼0.06cthat carries an energy of ≈1049erg. Our modeling further reveals a flat CSM density profileρCSMR−0.03±0.22up to a break radiusRbr≈ (1.96 ± 0.10) × 1016cm, with a steep density gradient followingρCSMR−2.3±0.5at larger radii. We infer that the flat part of the density profile corresponds to a CSM shell with mass ∼0.021M, and that the progenitor’s effective mass-loss rate varied with time over the range (50–500) × 10−5Myr−1for an adopted wind velocityvw= 1000 km s−1and shock microphysical parametersϵe= 0.1,ϵB= 0.01. These results add to the mounting observational evidence for departures from the traditional single-wind mass-loss scenarios in evolved, massive stars in the centuries leading up to core collapse. Potentially viable scenarios include mass lossmore »powered by gravity waves and/or interaction with a binary companion.

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  2. Abstract We present a population of 19 radio-luminous supernovae (SNe) with emission reaching L ν ∼ 10 26 –10 29 erg s −1 Hz −1 in the first epoch of the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS) at 2–4 GHz. Our sample includes one long gamma-ray burst, SN 2017iuk/GRB 171205A, and 18 core-collapse SNe detected at ≈1–60 yr after explosion. No thermonuclear explosion shows evidence for bright radio emission, and hydrogen-poor progenitors dominate the subsample of core-collapse events with spectroscopic classification at the time of explosion (79%). We interpret these findings in the context of the expected radio emission from the forward shock interaction with the circumstellar medium (CSM). We conclude that these observations require a departure from the single wind–like density profile (i.e., ρ CSM ∝ r −2 ) that is expected around massive stars and/or from a spherical Newtonian shock. Viable alternatives include the shock interaction with a detached, dense shell of CSM formed by a large effective progenitor mass-loss rate, M ̇ ∼ 10 − 4 – 10 − 1 M ⊙ yr −1 (for an assumed wind velocity of 1000 km s −1 ); emission from an off-axis relativistic jet entering our line of sight; ormore »the emergence of emission from a newly born pulsar-wind nebula. The relativistic SN 2012ap that is detected 5.7 and 8.5 yr after explosion with L ν ∼ 10 28 erg s −1 Hz −1 might constitute the first detections of an off-axis jet+cocoon system in a massive star. However, none of the VLASS SNe with archival data points are consistent with our model off-axis jet light curves. Future multiwavelength observations will distinguish among these scenarios. Our VLASS source catalogs, which were used to perform the VLASS cross-matching, are publicly available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4895112 .« less
  3. ABSTRACT We report on new Very Long Baseline Interferometry radio measurements of supernova (SN) 2014C in the spiral galaxy NGC 7331, made with the European VLBI Network ∼5 yr after the explosion, as well as on flux density measurements made with the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). SN 2014C was an unusual SN, initially of Type Ib, but over the course of ∼1 yr, it developed strong H α lines, implying the onset of strong interaction with some H-rich circumstellar medium (CSM). The expanding shock-front interacted with a dense shell of circumstellar material during the first year, but has now emerged from the dense shell and is expanding into the lower density CSM beyond. Our new VLBI observations show a relatively clear shell structure and continued expansion with some deceleration, with a suggestion that the deceleration is increasing at the latest times. Our multifrequency VLA observations show a relatively flat power-law spectrum with Sν ∝ ν−0.56 ± 0.03, and show no decline in the radio luminosity since t ∼ 1 yr.
  4. ABSTRACT We report on Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations of the fast and blue optical transient (FBOT), AT 2018cow. At ∼62 Mpc, AT 2018cow is the first relatively nearby FBOT. The nature of AT 2018cow is not clear, although various hypotheses from a tidal disruption event to different kinds of supernovae have been suggested. It had a very fast rise time (3.5 d) and an almost featureless blue spectrum, although high photospheric velocities (40 000 km s−1) were suggested early on. The X-ray luminosity was very high, ∼1.4 × 1043 erg s−1, larger than those of ordinary supernovae (SNe), and more consistent with those of SNe associated with gamma-ray bursts. Variable hard X-ray emission hints at a long-lived ‘central engine.’ It was also fairly radio luminous, with a peak 8.4-GHz spectral luminosity of ∼4 × 1028 erg s−1 Hz−1, allowing us to make VLBI observations at ages between 22 and 287 d. We do not resolve AT 2018cow. Assuming a circularly symmetric source, our observations constrain the average apparent expansion velocity to be ${\lt}0.49\, c$ by t = 98 d (3σ limit). We also constrain the proper motion of AT 2018cow to be ${\lt}0.51\, c$. Since the radio emission generally traces the fastest ejecta, our observations make the presence of a long-lived relativistic jet with a lifetime of more than 1 monthmore »very unlikely.« less