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  1. Abstract

    Few published ultraviolet (UV) spectra exist for stripped-envelope supernovae and none to date for broad-lined Type Ic supernovae (SNe Ic-bl). These objects have extremely high ejecta velocities and are the only supernova type directly linked to gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Here we present two epochs of HST/STIS spectra of the SN Ic-bl 2014ad, the first UV spectra for this class. We supplement this with 26 new epochs of ground-based optical spectra, augmenting a rich spectral time series. The UV spectra do not show strong features and are consistent with broadened versions of other SN Ic spectra observed in the UV. We measure Feii5169 Å velocities and show that SN 2014ad has even higher ejecta velocities than most SNe Ic both with and without observed GRBs. We construct models of the SN 2014ad UV+optical spectra usingtardis, a 1D Monte Carlo radiative-transfer spectral synthesis code. The models fit the data well at multiple epochs in the optical but underestimate the flux in the UV, likely due to simplifying assumptions. We find that high densities at high velocities are needed to reproduce the spectra, with ∼3Mof material atv> 22,000 km s−1, assuming spherical symmetry. Our nebular line fits suggest a steep density profilemore »at low velocities. Together, these results imply a higher total ejecta mass than estimated from previous light-curve analysis and expected from theory. This may be reconciled by a flattening of the density profile at low velocity and extra emission near the center of the ejecta.

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  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Abstract

    ASASSN-14ko is a recently discovered periodically flaring transient at the center of the active galactic nucleus (AGN) ESO 253−G003 with a slowly decreasing period. Here, we show that the flares originate from the northern, brighter nucleus in this dual-AGN, post-merger system. The light curves for the two flares that occurred in 2020 May and September are nearly identical over all wavelengths. For both events, Swift observations showed that the UV and optical wavelengths brightened in unison. The effective temperature of the UV/optical emission rises and falls with the increase and subsequent decline in the luminosity. The X-ray flux, by contrast, first rapidly drops over ∼2.6 days, rises for ∼5.8 days, drops again over ∼4.3 days, and then recovers. The X-ray spectral evolution of the two flares differ, however. During the 2020 May peak the spectrum softened with increases in the X-ray luminosity, while we observed the reverse for the 2020 September peak. We found a small change in the period derivative, which seems to indicate that the system does not have a static period derivative and there is some stochasticity in its evolution.

  5. 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
  6. ABSTRACT Type Iax supernovae (SNe Iax) are the most common class of peculiar SNe. While they are thought to be thermonuclear white-dwarf (WD) SNe, SNe Iax are observationally similar to, but distinct from SNe Ia. Unlike SNe Ia, where roughly 30 per cent occur in early-type galaxies, only one SN Iax has been discovered in an early-type galaxy, suggesting a relatively short delay time and a distinct progenitor system. Furthermore, one SN Iax progenitor system has been detected in pre-explosion images with its properties consistent with either of two models: a short-lived (<100 Myr) progenitor system consisting of a WD primary and a He-star companion, or a singular Wolf–Rayet progenitor star. Using deep Hubble Space Telescope images of nine nearby SN Iax host galaxies, we measure the properties of stars within 200 pc of the SN position. The ages of local stars, some of which formed with the SN progenitor system, can constrain the time between star formation and SN, known as the delay time. We compare the local stellar properties to synthetic photometry of single-stellar populations, fitting to a range of possible delay times for each SN. With this sample, we uniquely constrain the delay-time distribution for SNe Iax, with a median and 1σ confidence interval delay time of $63_{- 15}^{+more »58} \times 10^{6}$ yr. The measured delay-time distribution provides an excellent constraint on the progenitor system for the class, indicating a preference for a WD progenitor system over a Wolf–Rayet progenitor star.« less