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  1. We present linear polarimetry for seven hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I) of which only one has previously published polarimetric data. The best-studied event is SN 2017gci, for which we present two epochs of spectropolarimetry at +3 d and +29 d post-peak in rest frame, accompanied by four epochs of imaging polarimetry up to +108 d. The spectropolarimetry at +3 d shows increasing polarisation degree P towards the redder wavelengths and exhibits signs of axial symmetry, but at +29 d, P  ∼ 0 throughout the spectrum, implying that the photosphere of SN 2017gci evolved from a slightly aspherical configuration to a more spherical one in the first month post-peak. However, an increase of P to ∼0.5% at ∼ + 55 d accompanied by a different orientation of the axial symmetry compared to +3 d implies the presence of additional sources of polarisation at this phase. The increase in polarisation is possibly caused by interaction with circumstellar matter (CSM), as already suggested by a knee in the light curve and a possible detection of broad H α emission at the same phase. We also analysed the sample of all 16 SLSNe-I with polarimetric measurements to date. The data taken during the early spectroscopic phase show consistently low polarisation, indicating at least nearly spherical photospheres. No clear relation between the polarimetry and spectral phase was seen when the spectra resemble Type Ic SNe during the photospheric and nebular phases. The light-curve decline rate, which spans a factor of eight, also shows no clear relation with the polarisation properties. While only slow-evolving SLSNe-I have shown non-zero polarisation, the fast-evolving ones have not been observed at sufficiently late times to conclude that none of them exhibit changing P . However, the four SLSNe-I with increasing polarisation degree also have irregular light-curve declines. For up to half of them, the photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric properties are affected by CSM interaction. As such, CSM interaction clearly plays an important role in understanding the polarimetric evolution of SLSNe-I. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024

    Hydrogen-rich Type II supernovae (SNe II) are the most frequently observed class of core-collapse SNe (CCSNe). However, most studies that analyse large samples of SNe II lack events with absolute peak magnitudes brighter than −18.5 mag at rest-frame optical wavelengths. Thanks to modern surveys, the detected number of such luminous SNe II (LSNe II) is growing. There exist several mechanisms that could produce luminous SNe II. The most popular propose either the presence of a central engine (a magnetar gradually spinning down or a black hole accreting fallback material) or the interaction of supernova ejecta with circumstellar material (CSM) that turns kinetic energy into radiation energy. In this work, we study the light curves and spectral series of a small sample of six LSNe II that show peculiarities in their H α profile, to attempt to understand the underlying powering mechanism. We favour an interaction scenario with CSM that is not dense enough to be optically thick to electron scattering on large scales – thus, no narrow emission lines are observed. This conclusion is based on the observed light curve (higher luminosity, fast decline, blue colours) and spectral features (lack of persistent narrow lines, broad H α emission, lack of H α absorption, weak, or non-existent metal lines) together with comparison to other luminous events available in the literature. We add to the growing evidence that transients powered by ejecta–CSM interaction do not necessarily display persistent narrow emission lines.

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    We present a sample of 14 hydrogen-rich superluminous supernovae (SLSNe II) from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) between 2018 and 2020. We include all classified SLSNe with peaks Mg < −20 mag with observed broad but not narrow Balmer emission, corresponding to roughly 20 per cent of all hydrogen-rich SLSNe in ZTF phase I. We examine the light curves and spectra of SLSNe II and attempt to constrain their power source using light-curve models. The brightest events are photometrically and spectroscopically similar to the prototypical SN 2008es, while others are found spectroscopically more reminiscent of non-superluminous SNe II, especially SNe II-L. 56Ni decay as the primary power source is ruled out. Light-curve models generally cannot distinguish between circumstellar interaction (CSI) and a magnetar central engine, but an excess of ultraviolet (UV) emission signifying CSI is seen in most of the SNe with UV data, at a wide range of photometric properties. Simultaneously, the broad H α profiles of the brightest SLSNe II can be explained through electron scattering in a symmetric circumstellar medium (CSM). In other SLSNe II without narrow lines, the CSM may be confined and wholly overrun by the ejecta. CSI, possibly involving mass lost in recent eruptions, is implied to be the dominant power source in most SLSNe II, and the diversity in properties is likely the result of different mass loss histories. Based on their radiated energy, an additional power source may be required for the brightest SLSNe II, however – possibly a central engine combined with CSI.

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  4. Abstract During the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Phase I operations, 78 hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I) were discovered in less than 3 yr, constituting the largest sample from a single survey. This paper (Paper I) presents the data, including the optical/UV light curves and classification spectra, while Paper II in this series will focus on the detailed analysis of the light curves and modeling. Our photometry is primarily taken by ZTF in the g , r , and i bands, and with additional data from other ground-based facilities and Swift. The events of our sample cover a redshift range of z = 0.06 − 0.67, with a median and 1 σ error (16% and 84% percentiles) of z med = 0.265 − 0.135 + 0.143 . The peak luminosity covers −22.8 mag ≤ M g ,peak ≤ −19.8 mag, with a median value of − 21.48 − 0.61 + 1.13 mag. The light curves evolve slowly with a mean rest-frame rise time of t rise = 41.9 ± 17.8 days. The luminosity and timescale distributions suggest that low-luminosity SLSNe-I with a peak luminosity ∼−20 mag or extremely fast-rising events (<10 days) exist, but are rare. We confirm previous findings that slowly rising SLSNe-I also tend to fade slowly. The rest-frame color and temperature evolution show large scatters, suggesting that the SLSN-I population may have diverse spectral energy distributions. The peak rest-frame color shows a moderate correlation with the peak absolute magnitude, i.e., brighter SLSNe-I tend to have bluer colors. With optical and UV photometry, we construct the bolometric luminosity and derive a bolometric correction relation that is generally applicable for converting g , r -band photometry to the bolometric luminosity for SLSNe-I. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The early phases of the observed evolution of the supernovae (SNe) are expected to be dominated by the shock breakout and ‘flash’ ionization of the surrounding circumstellar medium. This material arises from the last stages of the evolution of the progenitor, such that photometry and spectroscopy of SNe at early times can place vital constraints on the latest and fastest evolutionary phases leading up to stellar death. These signatures are erased by the expansion of the ejecta within ∼5 d after explosion. Here we present the earliest constraints, to date, on the polarization of 10 transients discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), between 2018 June and 2019 August. Rapid polarimetric follow-up was conducted using the Liverpool Telescope RINGO3 instrument, including three SNe observed within <1 d of detection by the ZTF. The limits on the polarization within the first 5 d of explosion, for all SN types, is generally $\lt 2{ per\ cent}$, implying early asymmetries are limited to axial ratios >0.65 (assuming an oblate spheroidal configuration). We also present polarimetric observations of the Type I Superluminous SN 2018bsz and Type II SN 2018hna, observed around and after maximum light. 
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  6. Abstract We present observations of three core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe) in elliptical hosts, detected by the Zwicky Transient Facility Bright Transient Survey (BTS). SN 2019ape is a SN Ic that exploded in the main body of a typical elliptical galaxy. Its properties are consistent with an explosion of a regular SN Ic progenitor. A secondary g -band light-curve peak could indicate interaction of the ejecta with circumstellar material (CSM). An H α -emitting source at the explosion site suggests a residual local star formation origin. SN 2018fsh and SN 2020uik are SNe II which exploded in the outskirts of elliptical galaxies. SN 2020uik shows typical spectra for SNe II, while SN 2018fsh shows a boxy nebular H α profile, a signature of CSM interaction. We combine these 3 SNe with 7 events from the literature and analyze their hosts as a sample. We present multi-wavelength photometry of the hosts, and compare this to archival photometry of all BTS hosts. Using the spectroscopically complete BTS, we conclude that 0.3 % − 0.1 + 0.3 of all CCSNe occur in elliptical galaxies. We derive star formation rates and stellar masses for the host galaxies and compare them to the properties of other SN hosts. We show that CCSNe in ellipticals have larger physical separations from their hosts compared to SNe Ia in elliptical galaxies, and discuss implications for star-forming activity in elliptical galaxies. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    In this paper, we discuss the outcomes of the follow-up campaign of SN 2018ijp, discovered as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility survey for optical transients. Its first spectrum shows similarities to broad-lined Type Ic supernovae around maximum light, whereas later spectra display strong signatures of interaction between rapidly expanding ejecta and a dense H-rich circumstellar medium, coinciding with a second peak in the photometric evolution of the transient. This evolution, along with the results of modeling of the first light-curve peak, suggests a scenario where a stripped star exploded within a dense circumstellar medium. The two main phases in the evolution of the transient could be interpreted as a first phase dominated by radioactive decays, and a later interaction-dominated phase where the ejecta collide with a pre-existing shell. We therefore discuss SN 2018jp within the context of a massive star depleted of its outer layers exploding within a dense H-rich circumstellar medium. 
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  8. We present the spectroscopic and photometric study of five intermediate-luminosity red transients (ILRTs), namely AT 2010dn, AT 2012jc, AT 2013la, AT 2013lb, and AT 2018aes. They share common observational properties and belong to a family of objects similar to the prototypical ILRT SN 2008S. These events have a rise time that is less than 15 days and absolute peak magnitudes of between −11.5 and −14.5 mag. Their pseudo-bolometric light curves peak in the range 0.5–9.0 × 10 40  erg s −1 and their total radiated energies are on the order of (0.3–3) × 10 47 erg. After maximum brightness, the light curves show a monotonic decline or a plateau, resembling those of faint supernovae IIL or IIP, respectively. At late phases, the light curves flatten, roughly following the slope of the 56 Co decay. If the late-time power source is indeed radioactive decay, these transients produce 56 Ni masses on the order of 10 −4 to 10 −3   M ⊙ . The spectral energy distribution of our ILRT sample, extending from the optical to the mid-infrared (MIR) domain, reveals a clear IR excess soon after explosion and non-negligible MIR emission at very late phases. The spectra show prominent H lines in emission with a typical velocity of a few hundred km s −1 , along with Ca II features. In particular, the [Ca  II ] λ 7291,7324 doublet is visible at all times, which is a characteristic feature for this family of transients. The identified progenitor of SN 2008S, which is luminous in archival Spitzer MIR images, suggests an intermediate-mass precursor star embedded in a dusty cocoon. We propose the explosion of a super-asymptotic giant branch star forming an electron-capture supernova as a plausible explanation for these events. 
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  9. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present the photometric and spectroscopic evolution of the Type II supernova (SN II) SN 2017ivv (also known as ASASSN-17qp). Located in an extremely faint galaxy (Mr = −10.3 mag), SN 2017ivv shows an unprecedented evolution during the 2 yr of observations. At early times, the light curve shows a fast rise (∼6−8 d) to a peak of ${\it M}^{\rm max}_{g}= -17.84$ mag, followed by a very rapid decline of 7.94 ± 0.48 mag per 100 d in the V band. The extensive photometric coverage at late phases shows that the radioactive tail has two slopes, one steeper than that expected from the decay of 56Co (between 100 and 350 d), and another slower (after 450 d), probably produced by an additional energy source. From the bolometric light curve, we estimated that the amount of ejected 56Ni is ∼0.059 ± 0.003 M⊙. The nebular spectra of SN 2017ivv show a remarkable transformation that allows the evolution to be split into three phases: (1) Hα strong phase (<200 d); (2) Hα weak phase (between 200 and 350 d); and (3) Hα broad phase (>500 d). We find that the nebular analysis favours a binary progenitor and an asymmetric explosion. Finally, comparing the nebular spectra of SN 2017ivv to models suggests a progenitor with a zero-age main-sequence mass of 15–17 M⊙. 
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