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  1. Abstract A thermonuclear explosion triggered by a He-shell detonation on a carbon–oxygen white-dwarf core has been predicted to have strong UV line blanketing at early times due to the iron-group elements produced during He-shell burning. We present the photometric and spectroscopic observations of SN 2016dsg, a subluminous peculiar Type I supernova consistent with a thermonuclear explosion involving a thick He shell. With a redshift of 0.04, the i -band peak absolute magnitude is derived to be around −17.5. The object is located far away from its host, an early-type galaxy, suggesting it originated from an old stellar population. The spectra collected after the peak are unusually red, show strong UV line blanketing and weak O i λ 7773 absorption lines, and do not evolve significantly over 30 days. An absorption line around 9700–10500 Å is detected in the near-infrared spectrum and is likely from the unburnt He in the ejecta. The spectroscopic evolution is consistent with the thermonuclear explosion models for a sub-Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarf with a thick He shell, while the photometric evolution is not well described by existing models.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 28, 2023
  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 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
  4. 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 SNmore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 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 Low-luminosity Type II supernovae (LL SNe II) make up the low explosion energy end of core-collapse SNe, but their study and physical understanding remain limited. We present SN 2016aqf, an LL SN II with extensive spectral and photometric coverage. We measure a V-band peak magnitude of −14.58 mag, a plateau duration of ∼100 d, and an inferred 56Ni mass of 0.008 ± 0.002 M⊙. The peak bolometric luminosity, Lbol ≈ 1041.4 erg s−1, and its spectral evolution are typical of other SNe in the class. Using our late-time spectra, we measure the [O i] λλ6300, 6364 lines, which we compare against SN II spectral synthesis models to constrain the progenitor zero-age main-sequence mass. We find this to be 12 ± 3 M⊙. Our extensive late-time spectral coverage of the [Fe ii] λ7155 and [Ni ii] λ7378 lines permits a measurement of the Ni/Fe abundance ratio, a parameter sensitive to the inner progenitor structure and explosion mechanism dynamics. We measure a constant abundance ratio evolution of $0.081^{+0.009}_{-0.010}$ and argue that the best epochs to measure the ratio are at ∼200–300 d after explosion. We place this measurement in the context of a large sample of SNe II and compare against various physical, light-curve, and spectral parameters, in search of trends that might allow indirect ways of constrainingmore »this ratio. We do not find correlations predicted by theoretical models; however, this may be the result of the exact choice of parameters and explosion mechanism in the models, the simplicity of them, and/or primordial contamination in the measured abundance ratio.« less
  7. 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
  8. 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.