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  1. Abstract We present 75 near-infrared (NIR; 0.8−2.5 μ m) spectra of 34 stripped-envelope core-collapse supernovae (SESNe) obtained by the Carnegie Supernova Project-II (CSP-II), encompassing optical spectroscopic Types IIb, Ib, Ic, and Ic-BL. The spectra range in phase from pre-maximum to 80 days past maximum. This unique data set constitutes the largest NIR spectroscopic sample of SESNe to date. NIR spectroscopy provides observables with additional information that is not available in the optical. Specifically, the NIR contains the strong lines of He i and allows a more detailed look at whether Type Ic supernovae are completely stripped of their outer He layer. The NIR spectra of SESNe have broad similarities, but closer examination through statistical means reveals a strong dichotomy between NIR “He-rich” and “He-poor” SNe. These NIR subgroups correspond almost perfectly to the optical IIb/Ib and Ic/Ic-BL types, respectively. The largest difference between the two groups is observed in the 2 μ m region, near the He i λ 2.0581 μ m line. The division between the two groups is not an arbitrary one along a continuous sequence. Early spectra of He-rich SESNe show much stronger He i λ 2.0581 μ m absorption compared to the He-poor group, but withmore »a wide range of profile shapes. The same line also provides evidence for trace amounts of He in half of our SNe in the He-poor group.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. Abstract We present a multiwavelength photometric and spectroscopic analysis of 13 super-Chandrasekhar-mass/2003fg-like Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Nine of these objects were observed by the Carnegie Supernova Project. The 2003fg-like SNe have slowly declining light curves (Δ m 15 ( B ) < 1.3 mag), and peak absolute B -band magnitudes of −19 < M B < −21 mag. Many of the 2003fg-like SNe are located in the same part of the luminosity–width relation as normal SNe Ia. In the optical B and V bands, the 2003fg-like SNe look like normal SNe Ia, but at redder wavelengths they diverge. Unlike other luminous SNe Ia, the 2003fg-like SNe generally have only one i -band maximum, which peaks after the epoch of the B -band maximum, while their near-IR (NIR) light-curve rise times can be ≳40 days longer than those of normal SNe Ia. They are also at least 1 mag brighter in the NIR bands than normal SNe Ia, peaking above M H = −19 mag, and generally have negative Hubble residuals, which may be the cause of some systematics in dark-energy experiments. Spectroscopically, the 2003fg-like SNe exhibit peculiarities such as unburnt carbon well past maximum light, a large spread (8000–12,000more »km s −1 ) in Si ii λ 6355 velocities at maximum light with no rapid early velocity decline, and no clear H -band break at +10 days. We find that SNe with a larger pseudo-equivalent width of C ii at maximum light have lower Si ii λ 6355 velocities and more slowly declining light curves. There are also multiple factors that contribute to the peak luminosity of 2003fg-like SNe. The explosion of a C–O degenerate core inside a carbon-rich envelope is consistent with these observations. Such a configuration may come from the core-degenerate scenario.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 30, 2022
  3. We present multiwavelength observations of two gap transients that were followed by the Carnegie Supernova Project-II. The observations are supplemented with data obtained by a number of different programs. Here in the first of two papers, we focus on the intermediate-luminosity red transient (ILRT) designated SNhunt120, while in a companion paper we examine the luminous red novae AT 2014ej. Our data set for SNhunt120 consists of an early optical discovery, estimated to be within three days after outburst, the subsequent optical and near-infrared broadband followup extending over a period of about two months, two visual and two near-infrared wavelength spectra, and Spitzer Space Telescope observations extending from early (+28 d) to late (+1155 d) phases. SNhunt120 resembles other ILRTs such as NGC 300-2008-OT and SN 2008S, and like these other ILRTs, SNhunt120 exhibits prevalent mid-infrared emission at both early and late phases. From the comparison of SNhunt120 and other ILRTs to electron-capture supernova simulations, we find that the current models underestimate the explosion kinetic energy and thereby produce synthetic light curves that overestimate the luminosity. Finally, examination of pre-outburst Hubble Space Telescope images yields no progenitor detection.
  4. Abstract On 2019 August 14 at 21:10:39 UTC, the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration (LVC) detected a possible neutron star–black hole merger (NSBH), the first ever identified. An extensive search for an optical counterpart of this event, designated GW190814, was undertaken using the Dark Energy Camera on the 4 m Victor M. Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Target of Opportunity interrupts were issued on eight separate nights to observe 11 candidates using the 4.1 m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope’s Goodman High Throughput Spectrograph in order to assess whether any of these transients was likely to be an optical counterpart of the possible NSBH merger. Here, we describe the process of observing with SOAR, the analysis of our spectra, our spectroscopic typing methodology, and our resultant conclusion that none of the candidates corresponded to the gravitational wave merger event but were all instead other transients. Finally, we describe the lessons learned from this effort. Application of these lessons will be critical for a successful community spectroscopic follow-up program for LVC observing run 4 (O4) and beyond.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  5. Supernova LSQ13abf was discovered soon after explosion by the La Silla-QUEST Survey and then followed by the Carnegie Supernova Project II at its optical and near-IR wavelengths. Our analysis indicates that LSQ13abf was discovered within two days of explosion and its first ≈10 days of evolution reveal a B -band light curve with an abrupt drop in luminosity. Contemporaneously, the V -band light curve exhibits a rise towards a first peak and the r - and i -band light curves show no early peak. The early light-curve evolution of LSQ13abf is reminiscent of the post-explosion cooling phase observed in the Type Ib SN 2008D, and the similarity between the two objects extends over weeks. Spectroscopically, LSQ13abf also resembles SN 2008D, with P Cygni He  I features that strengthen over several weeks. Spectral energy distributions are constructed from the broad-bandphotometry, a UVOIR light curve is constructed by fitting black-body (BB) functions, and the underlying BB-temperature and BB-radius profiles are estimated. Explosion parameters are estimated by simultaneously fitting an Arnett model to the UVOIR light curve and the velocity evolution derived from spectral features, and an in addition to a post-shock breakout cooling model to the first two epochs of the bolometricmore »evolution. This combined model suggests an explosion energy of 1.27 ± 0.23 × 10 51 ergs, in addition to a relatively high ejecta mass of 5.94 ± 1.10 M ⊙ , a 56 Ni mass of 0.16 ± 0.02 M ⊙ , and a progenitor-star radius of 28.0 ± 7.5 R ⊙ . The ejecta mass suggests the origins of LSQ13abf lie with a > 25  M ⊙ zero-age-main-sequence mass progenitor and its estimated radius is three times larger compared to the result obtained from the same analysis applied to observations of SN 2008D, and nine times larger compared to SN 1999ex. Alternatively, a comparison of hydrodynamical simulations of ≳20−25 M ⊙ zero-age-main-sequence progenitors that evolve to pre-supernova envelope masses of ≲10 M ⊙ and extended (∼100 R ⊙ ) envelopes also broadly match the observations of LSQ13abf.« less
  6. We present optical and near-infrared broadband photometry and optical spectra of AT 2014ej from the Carnegie Supernova Project-II. These observations are complemented with data from the CHilean Automatic Supernova sEarch, the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects, and from the Backyard Observatory Supernova Search. Observational signatures of AT 2014ej reveal that it is similar to other members of the gap-transient subclass known as luminous red novae (LRNe), including the ubiquitous double-hump light curve and spectral properties similar to that of LRN SN 2017jfs. A medium-dispersion visual-wavelength spectrum of AT 2014ej taken with the Magellan Clay telescope exhibits a P Cygni H α feature characterized by a blue velocity at zero intensity of ≈110 km s −1 and a P Cygni minimum velocity of ≈70 km s −1 . We attribute this to emission from a circumstellar wind. Inspection of pre-outbust Hubble Space Telescope images yields no conclusive progenitor detection. In comparison with a sample of LRNe from the literature, AT 2014ej lies at the brighter end of the luminosity distribution. Comparison of the ultra-violet, optical, infrared light curves of well-observed LRNe to common-envelope evolution models from the literature indicates that the models underpredict the luminosity of the comparison samplemore »at all phases and also produce inconsistent timescales of the secondary peak. Future efforts to model LRNe should expand upon the current parameter space we explore here and therefore may consider more massive systems and a wider range of dynamical timescales.« less