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  1. Abstract

    We present the Keck Infrared Transient Survey, a NASA Key Strategic Mission Support program to obtain near-infrared (NIR) spectra of astrophysical transients of all types, and its first data release, consisting of 105 NIR spectra of 50 transients. Such a data set is essential as we enter a new era of IR astronomy with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the upcoming Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (Roman). NIR spectral templates will be essential to search JWST images for stellar explosions of the first stars and to plan an effective Roman SN Ia cosmology survey, both key science objectives for mission success. Between 2022 February and 2023 July, we systematically obtained 274 NIR spectra of 146 astronomical transients, representing a significant increase in the number of available NIR spectra in the literature. Here, we describe the first release of data from the 2022A semester. We systematically observed three samples: a flux-limited sample that includes all transients <17 mag in a red optical band (usually ZTFror ATLASobands); a volume-limited sample including all transients within redshiftz< 0.01 (D≈ 50 Mpc); and an SN Ia sample targeting objects at phases and light-curve parameters that had scant existing NIR data in the literature. The flux-limited sample is 39% complete (60% excluding SNe Ia), while the volume-limited sample is 54% complete and is 79% complete toz= 0.005. Transient classes observed include common Type Ia and core-collapse supernovae, tidal disruption events, luminous red novae, and the newly categorized hydrogen-free/helium-poor interacting Type Icn supernovae. We describe our observing procedures and data reduction usingPypeIt, which requires minimal human interaction to ensure reproducibility.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    The observed diversity in Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) – the thermonuclear explosions of carbon–oxygen white dwarf stars used as cosmological standard candles – is currently met with a variety of explosion models and progenitor scenarios. To help improve our understanding of whether and how often different models contribute to the occurrence of SNe Ia and their assorted properties, we present a comprehensive analysis of seven nearby SNe Ia. We obtained one to two epochs of optical spectra with Gemini Observatory during the nebular phase (>200 d past peak) for each of these events, all of which had time series of photometry and spectroscopy at early times (the first ∼8 weeks after explosion). We use the combination of early- and late-time observations to assess the predictions of various models for the explosion (e.g. double-detonation, off-centre detonation, stellar collisions), progenitor star (e.g. ejecta mass, metallicity), and binary companion (e.g. another white dwarf or a non-degenerate star). Overall, we find general consistency in our observations with spherically symmetric models for SN Ia explosions, and with scenarios in which the binary companion is another degenerate star. We also present an in-depth analysis of SN 2017fzw, a member of the subgroup of SNe Ia which appear to be transitional between the subluminous ‘91bg-like’ events and normal SNe Ia, and for which nebular-phase spectra are rare.

     
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  3. Abstract

    We present a JWST/MIRI low-resolution mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopic observation of the normal Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) SN 2021aefx at +323 days past rest-frameB-band maximum light. The spectrum ranges from 4 to 14μm and shows many unique qualities, including a flat-topped [Ariii] 8.991μm profile, a strongly tilted [Coiii] 11.888μm feature, and multiple stable Ni lines. These features provide critical information about the physics of the explosion. The observations are compared to synthetic spectra from detailed non–local thermodynamic equilibrium multidimensional models. The results of the best-fitting model are used to identify the components of the spectral blends and provide a quantitative comparison to the explosion physics. Emission line profiles and the presence of electron capture elements are used to constrain the mass of the exploding white dwarf (WD) and the chemical asymmetries in the ejecta. We show that the observations of SN 2021aefx are consistent with an off-center delayed detonation explosion of a near–Chandrasekhar mass (MCh) WD at a viewing angle of −30° relative to the point of the deflagration to detonation transition. From the strengths of the stable Ni lines, we determine that there is little to no mixing in the central regions of the ejecta. Based on both the presence of stable Ni and the Ar velocity distributions, we obtain a strict lower limit of 1.2Mfor the initial WD, implying that most sub-MChexplosions models are not viable models for SN 2021aefx. The analysis here shows the crucial importance of MIR spectra in distinguishing between explosion scenarios for SNe Ia.

     
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  4. null (Ed.)
  5. We present photometric and spectroscopic data on three extragalactic luminous red novae (LRNe): AT 2018bwo , AT 2021afy , and AT 2021blu . AT 2018bwo was discovered in NGC 45 (at about 6.8 Mpc) a few weeks after the outburst onset. During the monitoring period, the transient reached a peak luminosity of 10 40 erg s −1 . AT 2021afy , hosted by UGC 10043 (∼49.2 Mpc), showed a double-peaked light curve, with the two peaks reaching a similar luminosity of 2.1(±0.6)×10 41 erg s −1 . Finally, for AT 2021blu in UGC 5829 (∼8.6 Mpc), the pre-outburst phase was well-monitored by several photometric surveys, and the object showed a slow luminosity rise before the outburst. The light curve of AT 2021blu was sampled with an unprecedented cadence until the object disappeared behind the Sun, and it was then recovered at late phases. The light curve of LRN AT 2021blu shows a double peak, with a prominent early maximum reaching a luminosity of 6.5 × 10 40 erg s −1 , which is half of that of AT 2021afy . The spectra of AT 2021afy and AT 2021blu display the expected evolution for LRNe: a blue continuum dominated by prominent Balmer lines in emission during the first peak, and a redder continuum consistent with that of a K-type star with narrow absorption metal lines during the second, broad maximum. The spectra of AT 2018bwo are markedly different, with a very red continuum dominated by broad molecular features in absorption. As these spectra closely resemble those of LRNe after the second peak, AT 2018bwo was probably discovered at the very late evolutionary stages. This would explain its fast evolution and the spectral properties compatible with that of an M-type star. From the analysis of deep frames of the LRN sites years before the outburst, and considerations of the light curves, the quiescent progenitor systems of the three LRNe were likely massive, with primaries ranging from about 13 M ⊙ for AT 2018bwo , to 14 −1 +4 M ⊙ for AT 2021blu , and over 40 M ⊙ for AT 2021afy . 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  6. ABSTRACT We present observations of SN 2020fqv, a Virgo-cluster type II core-collapse supernova (CCSN) with a high temporal resolution light curve from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) covering the time of explosion; ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) starting 3.3 d post-explosion; ground-based spectroscopic observations starting 1.1 d post-explosion; along with extensive photometric observations. Massive stars have complicated mass-loss histories leading up to their death as CCSNe, creating circumstellar medium (CSM) with which the SNe interact. Observations during the first few days post-explosion can provide important information about the mass-loss rate during the late stages of stellar evolution. Model fits to the quasi-bolometric light curve of SN 2020fqv reveal  0.23 M⊙ of CSM confined within  1450 R⊙ (1014 cm) from its progenitor star. Early spectra (<4 d post-explosion), both from HST and ground-based observatories, show emission features from high-ionization metal species from the outer, optically thin part of this CSM. We find that the CSM is consistent with an eruption caused by the injection of ∼5 × 1046 erg into the stellar envelope ∼300 d pre-explosion, potentially from a nuclear burning instability at the onset of oxygen burning. Light-curve fitting, nebular spectroscopy, and pre-explosion HST imaging consistently point to a red supergiant (RSG) progenitor with $M_{\rm ZAMS}\approx 13.5\!-\!15 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$, typical for SN II progenitor stars. This finding demonstrates that a typical RSG, like the progenitor of SN 2020fqv, has a complicated mass-loss history immediately before core collapse. 
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  7. Abstract

    A large fraction of Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) observations over the next decade will be in the near-infrared (NIR), at wavelengths beyond the reach of the current standard light-curve model for SN Ia cosmology, SALT3 (∼2800–8700 Å central filter wavelength). To harness this new SN Ia sample and reduce future light-curve standardization systematic uncertainties, we train SALT3 at NIR wavelengths (SALT3-NIR) up to 2μm with the open-source model-training softwareSALTshaker, which can easily accommodate future observations. Using simulated data, we show that the training process constrains the NIR model to ∼2%–3% across the phase range (−20 to 50 days). We find that Hubble residual (HR) scatter is smaller using the NIR alone or optical+NIR compared to optical alone, by up to ∼30% depending on filter choice (95% confidence). There is significant correlation between NIR light-curve stretch measurements and luminosity, with stretch and color corrections often improving HR scatter by up to ∼20%. For SN Ia observations expected from the Roman Space Telescope, SALT3-NIR increases the amount of usable data in the SALT framework by ∼20% at redshiftz≲ 0.4 and by ∼50% atz≲ 0.15. The SALT3-NIR model is part of the open-sourceSNCosmoandSNANASN Ia cosmology packages.

     
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  8. ABSTRACT

    We present optical and near-infrared (NIR) observations of the Type Icn supernova (SN Icn) 2022ann, the fifth member of its newly identified class of SNe. Its early optical spectra are dominated by narrow carbon and oxygen P-Cygni features with absorption velocities of ∼800 km s−1; slower than other SNe Icn and indicative of interaction with a dense, H/He-poor circumstellar medium (CSM) that is outflowing slower than typical Wolf–Rayet wind velocities of >1000 km s−1. We identify helium in NIR spectra 2 weeks after maximum and in optical spectra at 3 weeks, demonstrating that the CSM is not fully devoid of helium. Unlike other SNe Icn, the spectra of SN 2022ann never develop broad features from SN ejecta, including in the nebular phase. Compared to other SNe Icn, SN 2022ann has a low luminosity (o-band absolute magnitude of ∼−17.7), and evolves slowly. The bolometric light curve is well-modelled by 4.8 M⊙ of SN ejecta interacting with 1.3 M⊙ of CSM. We place an upper limit of 0.04 M⊙ of 56Ni synthesized in the explosion. The host galaxy is a dwarf galaxy with a stellar mass of 107.34 M⊙ (implied metallicity of log(Z/Z⊙) ≈ 0.10) and integrated star-formation rate of log (SFR) = −2.20 M⊙ yr−1; both lower than 97 per cent of galaxies observed to produce core-collapse supernovae, although consistent with star-forming galaxies on the galaxy Main Sequence. The low CSM velocity, nickel and ejecta masses, and likely low-metallicity environment disfavour a single Wolf–Rayet progenitor star. Instead, a binary companion is likely required to adequately strip the progenitor and produce a low-velocity outflow.

     
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  9. null (Ed.)