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  1. Abstract

    We present early observations and analysis of the double-peaked Type IIb supernova (SN IIb) SN 2021zby. TESS captured the prominent early shock-cooling peak of SN 2021zby within the first ∼10 days after explosion with a 30 minute cadence. We present optical and near-infrared spectral series of SN 2021zby, including three spectra during the shock-cooling phase. Using a multiband model fit, we find that the inferred properties of its progenitor are consistent with a red supergiant or yellow supergiant, with an envelope mass of ∼0.30–0.65Mand an envelope radius of ∼120–300R. These inferred progenitor properties are similar to those of other SNe IIb with a double-peaked feature, such as SNe 1993J, 2011dh, 2016gkg, and 2017jgh. This study further validates the importance of the high cadence and early coverage in resolving the shape of the shock-cooling light curve, while the multiband observations, particularly UV, are also necessary to fully constrain the progenitor properties.

  2. ABSTRACT We present optical spectroscopy together with ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared photometry of SN 2019hcc, which resides in a host galaxy at redshift 0.044, displaying a sub-solar metallicity. The supernova spectrum near peak epoch shows a ‘w’ shape at around 4000 Å which is usually associated with O ii lines and is typical of Type I superluminous supernovae. SN 2019hcc post-peak spectra show a well-developed H α P-Cygni profile from 19 d past maximum and its light curve, in terms of its absolute peak luminosity and evolution, resembles that of a fast-declining Hydrogen-rich supernova (SN IIL). The object does not show any unambiguous sign of interaction as there is no evidence of narrow lines in the spectra or undulations in the light curve. Our tardis spectral modelling of the first spectrum shows that carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (CNO) at 19 000 K reproduce the ‘w’ shape and suggests that a combination of non-thermally excited CNO and metal lines at 8000 K could reproduce the feature seen at 4000 Å. The Bolometric light-curve modelling reveals that SN 2019hcc could be fit with a magnetar model, showing a relatively strong magnetic field (B > 3 × 1014 G), which matches the peak luminosity and rise time without powering up the light curve to superluminous luminosities. Themore »high-energy photons produced by the magnetar would then be responsible for the detected O ii lines. As a consequence, SN 2019hcc shows that a ‘w’ shape profile at around 4000 Å, usually attributed to O ii, is not only shown in superluminous supernovae and hence it should not be treated as the sole evidence of the belonging to such a supernova type.« less
  3. Abstract We present observations of SN 2021csp, the second example of a newly identified type of supernova (SN) hallmarked by strong, narrow, P Cygni carbon features at early times (Type Icn). The SN appears as a fast and luminous blue transient at early times, reaching a peak absolute magnitude of −20 within 3 days due to strong interaction between fast SN ejecta ( v ≈ 30,000 km s −1 ) and a massive, dense, fast-moving C/O wind shed by the WC-like progenitor months before explosion. The narrow-line features disappear from the spectrum 10–20 days after explosion and are replaced by a blue continuum dominated by broad Fe features, reminiscent of Type Ibn and IIn supernovae and indicative of weaker interaction with more extended H/He-poor material. The transient then abruptly fades ∼60 days post-explosion when interaction ceases. Deep limits at later phases suggest minimal heavy-element nucleosynthesis, a low ejecta mass, or both, and imply an origin distinct from that of classical Type Ic SNe. We place SN 2021csp in context with other fast-evolving interacting transients, and discuss various progenitor scenarios: an ultrastripped progenitor star, a pulsational pair-instability eruption, or a jet-driven fallback SN from a Wolf–Rayet (W-R) star. The fallback scenariomore »would naturally explain the similarity between these events and radio-loud fast transients, and suggests a picture in which most stars massive enough to undergo a W-R phase collapse directly to black holes at the end of their lives.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  4. Abstract We present high-cadence optical, ultraviolet (UV), and near-infrared data of the nearby ( D ≈ 23 Mpc) Type II supernova (SN) 2021yja. Many Type II SNe show signs of interaction with circumstellar material (CSM) during the first few days after explosion, implying that their red supergiant (RSG) progenitors experience episodic or eruptive mass loss. However, because it is difficult to discover SNe early, the diversity of CSM configurations in RSGs has not been fully mapped. SN 2021yja, first detected within ≈ 5.4 hours of explosion, shows some signatures of CSM interaction (high UV luminosity and radio and x-ray emission) but without the narrow emission lines or early light-curve peak that can accompany CSM. Here we analyze the densely sampled early light curve and spectral series of this nearby SN to infer the properties of its progenitor and CSM. We find that the most likely progenitor was an RSG with an extended envelope, encompassed by low-density CSM. We also present archival Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the host galaxy of SN 2021yja, which allows us to place a stringent upper limit of ≲ 9 M ☉ on the progenitor mass. However, this is in tension with some aspects of themore »SN evolution, which point to a more massive progenitor. Our analysis highlights the need to consider progenitor structure when making inferences about CSM properties, and that a comprehensive view of CSM tracers should be made to give a fuller view of the last years of RSG evolution.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  5. The many unusual properties of the enigmatic AT2018cow suggested that at least some subset of the empirical class of fast blue optical transients (FBOTs) represents a genuinely new astrophysical phenomenon. Unfortunately, the intrinsic rarity and fleeting nature of these events have made it difficult to identify additional examples early enough to acquire the observations necessary to constrain theoretical models. We present here the Zwicky Transient Facility discovery of AT2020xnd (ZTF20acigmel, the "Camel") at z=0.243, the first unambiguous AT2018cow analog to be found and confirmed in real time. AT2018cow and AT2020xnd share all key observational properties: a fast optical rise, sustained high photospheric temperature, absence of a second peak attributable to ejection of a radioactively-heated stellar envelope, extremely luminous radio, millimetre, and X-ray emission, and a dwarf-galaxy host. This supports the argument that AT2018cow-like events represent a distinct phenomenon from slower-evolving radio-quiet supernovae, likely requiring a different progenitor or a different central engine. The sample properties of the four known members of this class to date disfavour tidal disruption models but are consistent with the alternative model of an accretion powered jet following the direct collapse of a massive star to a black hole. Contextual filtering of alert streams combined withmore »rapid photometric verification using multi-band imaging provides an efficient way to identify future members of this class, even at high redshift.« less
  6. ABSTRACT We present early-time (t < +50 d) observations of SN 2019muj (=ASASSN-19tr), one of the best-observed members of the peculiar SN Iax class. Ultraviolet and optical photometric and optical and near-infrared spectroscopic follow-up started from ∼5 d before maximum light [tmax(B) on $58707.8$ MJD] and covers the photospheric phase. The early observations allow us to estimate the physical properties of the ejecta and characterize the possible divergence from a uniform chemical abundance structure. The estimated bolometric light-curve peaks at 1.05 × 1042 erg s−1 and indicates that only 0.031 M⊙ of 56Ni was produced, making SN 2019muj a moderate luminosity object in the Iax class with peak absolute magnitude of $M_\rm {V} = -16.4$ mag. The estimated date of explosion is t0 = $58698.2$ MJD and implies a short rise time of trise = 9.6 d in B band. We fit of the spectroscopic data by synthetic spectra, calculated via the radiative transfer code tardis. Adopting the partially stratified abundance template based on brighter SNe Iax provides a good match with SN 2019muj. However, without earlier spectra, the need for stratification cannot be stated in most of the elements, except carbon, which is allowed to appear in the outer layers only. SN 2019muj provides amore »unique opportunity to link extremely low-luminosity SNe Iax to well-studied, brighter SNe Iax.« less
  7. ABSTRACT

    This paper describes the rapidly evolving and unusual supernova LSQ13ddu, discovered by the La Silla-QUEST survey. LSQ13ddu displayed a rapid rise of just 4.8 ± 0.9 d to reach a peak brightness of −19.70 ± 0.02 mag in the LSQgr band. Early spectra of LSQ13ddu showed the presence of weak and narrow $\mathrm{ He}\, {\small I}$ features arising from interaction with circumstellar material (CSM). These interaction signatures weakened quickly, with broad features consistent with those seen in stripped-envelope SNe becoming dominant around two weeks after maximum. The narrow $\mathrm{ He}\, {\small I}$ velocities are consistent with the wind velocities of luminous blue variables but its spectra lack the typically seen hydrogen features. The fast and bright early light curve is inconsistent with radioactive 56Ni powering but can be explained through a combination of CSM interaction and an underlying 56Ni decay component that dominates the later time behaviour of LSQ13ddu. Based on the strength of the underlying broad features, LSQ13ddu appears deficient in He compared to standard SNe Ib.