skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Inserra, C"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  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. 
    more » « less
    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.

    more » « less

    We present an in-depth study of the late-time near-infrared plateau in Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), which occurs between 70 and 500 d. We double the existing sample of SNe Ia observed during the late-time near-infrared plateau with new observations taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, Gemini, New Technology Telescope, the 3.5-m Calar Alto Telescope, and the Nordic Optical Telescope. Our sample consists of 24 nearby SNe Ia at redshift < 0.025. We are able to confirm that no plateau exists in the Ks band for most normal SNe Ia. SNe Ia with broader optical light curves at peak tend to have a higher average brightness on the plateau in J and H, most likely due to a shallower decline in the preceding 100 d. SNe Ia that are more luminous at peak also show a steeper decline during the plateau phase in H. We compare our data to state-of-the-art radiative transfer models of nebular SNe Ia in the near-infrared. We find good agreement with the sub-Mch model that has reduced non-thermal ionization rates, but no physical justification for reducing these rates has yet been proposed. An analysis of the spectral evolution during the plateau demonstrates that the ratio of [Fe ii] to [Fe iii] contribution in a near-infrared filter determines the light curve evolution in said filter. We find that overluminous SNe decline slower during the plateau than expected from the trend seen for normal SNe Ia.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We present multiwavelength photometry and spectroscopy of SN 2022jli, an unprecedented Type Ic supernova discovered in the galaxy NGC 157 at a distance of ≈ 23 Mpc. The multiband light curves reveal many remarkable characteristics. Peaking at a magnitude ofg= 15.11 ± 0.02, the high-cadence photometry reveals periodic undulations of 12.5 ± 0.2 days superimposed on the 200-day supernova decline. This periodicity is observed in the light curves from nine separate filter and instrument configurations with peak-to-peak amplitudes of ≃ 0.1 mag. This is the first time that repeated periodic oscillations, over many cycles, have been detected in a supernova light curve. SN 2022jli also displays an extreme early excess that fades over ≈25 days, followed by a rise to a peak luminosity ofLopt= 1042.1erg s−1. Although the exact explosion epoch is not constrained by data, the time from explosion to maximum light is ≳ 59 days. The luminosity can be explained by a large ejecta mass (Mej≈ 12 ± 6M) powered by56Ni, but we find it difficult to quantitatively model the early excess with circumstellar interaction and cooling. Collision between the supernova ejecta and a binary companion is a possible source of this emission. We discuss the origin of the periodic variability in the light curve, including interaction of the SN ejecta with nested shells of circumstellar matter and neutron stars colliding with binary companions.

    more » « less
  5. Aims. The modelling of spectroscopic observations of tidal disruption events (TDEs) to date suggests that the newly formed accretion disks are mostly quasi-circular. In this work we study the transient event AT 2020zso, hosted by an active galactic nucleus (AGN; as inferred from narrow emission line diagnostics), with the aim of characterising the properties of its newly formed accretion flow. Methods. We classify AT 2020zso as a TDE based on the blackbody evolution inferred from UV/optical photometric observations and spectral line content and evolution. We identify transient, double-peaked Bowen (N  III ), He  I , He  II, and H α emission lines. We model medium-resolution optical spectroscopy of the He  II (after careful de-blending of the N  III contribution) and H α lines during the rise, peak, and early decline of the light curve using relativistic, elliptical accretion disk models. Results. We find that the spectral evolution before the peak can be explained by optical depth effects consistent with an outflowing, optically thick Eddington envelope. Around the peak, the envelope reaches its maximum extent (approximately 10 15 cm, or ∼3000–6000 gravitational radii for an inferred black hole mass of 5−10 × 10 5 M ⊙ ) and becomes optically thin. The H α and He  II emission lines at and after the peak can be reproduced with a highly inclined ( i  = 85 ± 5 degrees), highly elliptical ( e  = 0.97 ± 0.01), and relatively compact ( R in = several 100 R g and R out = several 1000 R g ) accretion disk. Conclusions. Overall, the line profiles suggest a highly elliptical geometry for the new accretion flow, consistent with theoretical expectations of newly formed TDE disks. We quantitatively confirm, for the first time, the high inclination nature of a Bowen (and X-ray dim) TDE, consistent with the unification picture of TDEs, where the inclination largely determines the observational appearance. Rapid line profile variations rule out the binary supermassive black hole hypothesis as the origin of the eccentricity; these results thus provide a direct link between a TDE in an AGN and the eccentric accretion disk. We illustrate for the first time how optical spectroscopy can be used to constrain the black hole spin, through (the lack of) disk precession signatures (changes in inferred inclination). We constrain the disk alignment timescale to > 15 days in AT2020zso, which rules out high black hole spin values ( a  < 0.8) for M BH  ∼ 10 6 M ⊙ and disk viscosity α  ≳ 0.1. 
    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    We present the discovery and extensive follow-up of a remarkable fast-evolving optical transient, AT 2022aedm, detected by the Asteroid Terrestrial impact Last Alert Survey (ATLAS). In the ATLASoband, AT 2022aedm exhibited a rise time of 9 ± 1 days, reaching a luminous peak withMg≈ −22 mag. It faded by 2 mag in thegband during the next 15 days. These timescales are consistent with other rapidly evolving transients, though the luminosity is extreme. Most surprisingly, the host galaxy is a massive elliptical with negligible current star formation. Radio and X-ray observations rule out a relativistic AT 2018cow–like explosion. A spectrum in the first few days after explosion showed short-lived Heiiemission resembling young core-collapse supernovae, but obvious broad supernova features never developed; later spectra showed only a fast-cooling continuum and narrow, blueshifted absorption lines, possibly arising in a wind withv≈ 2700 km s−1. We identify two further transients in the literature (Dougie in particular, as well as AT 2020bot) that share similarities in their luminosities, timescales, color evolution, and largely featureless spectra and propose that these may constitute a new class of transients: luminous fast coolers. All three events occurred in passive galaxies at offsets of ∼4–10 kpc from the nucleus, posing a challenge for progenitor models involving massive stars or black holes. The light curves and spectra appear to be consistent with shock breakout emission, though this mechanism is usually associated with core-collapse supernovae. The encounter of a star with a stellar-mass black hole may provide a promising alternative explanation.

    more » « less
  7. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Stripped-envelope supernovae (SE-SNe) show a wide variety of photometric and spectroscopic properties. This is due to the different potential formation channels and the stripping mechanism that allows for a large diversity within the progenitors outer envelope compositions. Here, the photometric and spectroscopic observations of SN 2020cpg covering ∼130 d from the explosion date are presented. SN 2020cpg (z = 0.037) is a bright SE-SNe with the B-band peaking at MB = −17.75 ± 0.39 mag and a maximum pseudo-bolometric luminosity of Lmax = 6.03 ± 0.01 × 1042 erg s−1. Spectroscopically, SN 2020cpg displays a weak high- and low-velocity H α feature during the photospheric phase of its evolution, suggesting that it contained a detached hydrogen envelope prior to explosion. From comparisons with spectral models, the mass of hydrogen within the outer envelope was constrained to be ∼0.1 M⊙. From the pseudo-bolometric light curve of SN 2020cpg a 56Ni mass of MNi ∼ 0.27 ± 0.08 M⊙ was determined using an Arnett-like model. The ejecta mass and kinetic energy of SN 2020cpg were determined using an alternative method that compares the light curve of SN 2020cpg and several modelled SE-SNe, resulting in an ejecta mass of Mejc ∼ 5.5 ± 2.0 M⊙ and a kinetic energy of EK ∼ 9.0 ± 3.0 × 1051 erg. The ejected mass indicates a progenitor mass of 18−25 M⊙. The use of the comparative light curve method provides an alternative process to the commonly used Arnett-like model to determine the physical properties of SE-SNe. 
    more » « less

    The ultraviolet (UV) and near-infrared (NIR) photometric and optical spectroscopic observations of SN 2020acat covering ∼250 d after explosion are presented here. Using the fast rising photometric observations, spanning from the UV to NIR wavelengths, a pseudo-bolometric light curve was constructed and compared to several other well-observed Type IIb supernovae (SNe IIb). SN 2020acat displayed a very short rise time reaching a peak luminosity of $\mathrm{{\rm Log}_{10}}(L) = 42.49 \pm 0.17 \, \mathrm{erg \, s^{-1}}$ in only ∼14.6 ± 0.3 d. From modelling of the pseudo-bolometric light curve, we estimated a total mass of 56Ni synthesized by SN 2020acat of MNi = 0.13 ± 0.03 M⊙, with an ejecta mass of Mej = 2.3 ± 0.4 M⊙ and a kinetic energy of Ek = 1.2 ± 0.3 × 1051 erg. The optical spectra of SN 2020acat display hydrogen signatures well into the transitional period (≳ 100 d), between the photospheric and the nebular phases. The spectra also display a strong feature around 4900  Å that cannot be solely accounted for by the presence of the Fe ii 5018 line. We suggest that the Fe ii feature was augmented by He i 5016 and possibly by the presence of N ii 5005. From both photometric and spectroscopic analysis, we inferred that the progenitor of SN 2020acat was an intermediate-mass compact star with an MZAMS of 15–20 M⊙.

    more » « less
  9. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present the photometric and spectroscopic evolution of supernova (SN) 2019cad during the first ∼100 d from explosion. Based on the light-curve morphology, we find that SN 2019cad resembles the double-peaked Type Ib/c SN 2005bf and the Type Ic PTF11mnb. Unlike those two objects, SN 2019cad also shows the initial peak in the redder bands. Inspection of the g-band light curve indicates the initial peak is reached in ∼8 d, while the r-band peak occurred ∼15 d post-explosion. A second and more prominent peak is reached in all bands at ∼45 d past explosion, followed by a fast decline from ∼60 d. During the first 30 d, the spectra of SN 2019cad show the typical features of a Type Ic SN, however, after 40 d, a blue continuum with prominent lines of Si ii λ6355 and C ii λ6580 is observed again. Comparing the bolometric light curve to hydrodynamical models, we find that SN 2019cad is consistent with a pre-SN mass of 11 M⊙, and an explosion energy of 3.5 × 1051 erg. The light-curve morphology can be reproduced either by a double-peaked 56Ni distribution with an external component of 0.041 M⊙, and an internal component of 0.3 M⊙ or a double-peaked 56Ni distribution plus magnetar model (P ∼ 11 ms and B ∼ 26 × 1014 G). If SN 2019cad were to suffer from significant host reddening (which cannot be ruled out), the 56Ni model would require extreme values, while the magnetar model would still be feasible. 
    more » « less
  10. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present and discuss the optical spectrophotometric observations of the nearby (z = 0.087) Type I superluminous supernova (SLSN I) SN 2017gci, whose peak K-corrected absolute magnitude reaches Mg = −21.5 mag. Its photometric and spectroscopic evolution includes features of both slow- and of fast-evolving SLSN I, thus favoring a continuum distribution between the two SLSN-I subclasses. In particular, similarly to other SLSNe I, the multiband light curves (LCs) of SN 2017gci show two re-brightenings at about 103 and 142 d after the maximum light. Interestingly, this broadly agrees with a broad emission feature emerging around 6520 Å after ∼51 d from the maximum light, which is followed by a sharp knee in the LC. If we interpret this feature as Hα, this could support the fact that the bumps are the signature of late interactions of the ejecta with a (hydrogen-rich) circumstellar material. Then we fitted magnetar- and CSM-interaction-powered synthetic LCs on to the bolometric one of SN 2017gci. In the magnetar case, the fit suggests a polar magnetic field Bp ≃ 6 × 1014 G, an initial period of the magnetar Pinitial ≃ 2.8 ms, an ejecta mass $M_{\rm ejecta}\simeq 9\, \mathrm{M}_\odot $ and an ejecta opacity $\kappa \simeq 0.08\, \mathrm{cm}^{2}\, \rm{g}^{-1}$. A CSM-interaction scenario would imply a CSM mass $\simeq 5\, \mathrm{M}_\odot $ and an ejecta mass $\simeq 12\, \mathrm{M}_\odot $. Finally, the nebular spectrum of phase  + 187 d was modeled, deriving a mass of $\sim 10\, {\rm M}_\odot$ for the ejecta. Our models suggest that either a magnetar or CSM interaction might be the power sources for SN 2017gci and that its progenitor was a massive ($40\, {\rm M}_\odot$) star. 
    more » « less