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We present ultraviolet (UV) to near-infrared (NIR) observations and analysis of the nearby Type Ia supernova SN 2021fxy. Our observations include UV photometry from Swift/UVOT, UV spectroscopy from HST/STIS, and high-cadence optical photometry with the Swope 1-m telescope capturing intranight rises during the early light curve. Early B − V colours show SN 2021fxy is the first ‘shallow-silicon’ (SS) SN Ia to follow a red-to-blue evolution, compared to other SS objects which show blue colours from the earliest observations. Comparisons to other spectroscopically normal SNe Ia with HST UV spectra reveal SN 2021fxy is one of several SNe Ia with flux suppression in the mid-UV. These SNe also show blueshifted mid-UV spectral features and strong high-velocity Ca ii features. One possible origin of this mid-UV suppression is the increased effective opacity in the UV due to increased line blanketing from high velocity material, but differences in the explosion mechanism cannot be ruled out. Among SNe Ia with mid-UV suppression, SNe 2021fxy and 2017erp show substantial similarities in their optical properties despite belonging to different Branch subgroups, and UV flux differences of the same order as those found between SNe 2011fe and 2011by. Differential comparisons to multiple sets of synthetic SN Ia UV spectra reveal this UV flux difference likely originates from a luminosity difference between SNe 2021fxy and 2017erp, and not differing progenitor metallicities as suggested for SNe 2011by and 2011fe. These comparisons illustrate the complicated nature of UV spectral formation, and the need for more UV spectra to determine the physical source of SNe Ia UV diversity.
We present early-time photometric and spectroscopic observations of the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2021aefx. The early-time
u-band light curve shows an excess flux when compared to normal SNe Ia. We suggest that the early excess blue flux may be due to a rapid change in spectral velocity in the first few days post explosion, produced by the emission of the Ca iiH&K feature passing from the uto the Bbands on the timescale of a few days. This effect could be dominant for all SNe Ia that have broad absorption features and early-time velocities over 25,000 km s−1. It is likely to be one of the main causes of early excess u-band flux in SNe Ia that have early-time high velocities. This effect may also be dominant in the UV filters, as well as in places where the SN spectral energy distribution is quickly rising to longer wavelengths. The rapid change in velocity can only produce a monotonic change (in flux-space) in the uband. For objects that explode at lower velocities, and have a more structured shape in the early excess emission, there must also be an additional parameter producing the early-time diversity. More early-time observations, in particular early spectra, are required to determine how prominent this effect is within SNe Ia.