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  1. Abstract

    We present near- and mid-infrared (0.9–18μm) photometry of supernova (SN) 2021afdx, which was imaged serendipitously with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as part of its Early Release Observations of the Cartwheel Galaxy. Our ground-based optical observations show it is likely to be a Type IIb SN, the explosion of a yellow supergiant, and its infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) ≈200 days after explosion shows two distinct components, which we attribute to hot ejecta and warm dust. By fitting models of dust emission to the SED, we derive a dust mass of(3.80.3+0.5)×103M, which is the highest yet observed in a Type IIb SN but consistent with other Type II SNe observed by the Spitzer Space Telescope. We also find that the radius of the dust is significantly larger than the radius of the ejecta, as derived from spectroscopic velocities during the photospheric phase, which implies that we are seeing an infrared echo off of preexisting dust in the progenitor environment, rather than dust newly formed by the SN. Our results show the power of JWST to address questions of dust formation in SNe, and therefore the presence of dust in the early universe,more »with much larger samples than have been previously possible.

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  2. Abstract We present high-cadence optical and ultraviolet light curves of the normal Type Ia supernova (SN) 2021aefx, which shows an early bump during the first two days of observation. This bump may be a signature of interaction between the exploding white dwarf and a nondegenerate binary companion, or it may be intrinsic to the white dwarf explosion mechanism. In the case of the former, the short duration of the bump implies a relatively compact main-sequence companion star, although this conclusion is viewing-angle dependent. Our best-fit companion-shocking and double-detonation models both overpredict the UV luminosity during the bump, and existing nickel-shell models do not match the strength and timescale of the bump. We also present nebular spectra of SN 2021aefx, which do not show the hydrogen or helium emission expected from a nondegenerate companion, as well as a radio nondetection that rules out all symbiotic progenitor systems and most accretion disk winds. Our analysis places strong but conflicting constraints on the progenitor of SN 2021aefx; no current model can explain all of our observations.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. 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.

  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