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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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