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  1. Context. SN 2020qlb (ZTF20abobpcb) is a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova (SLSN-I) that is among the most luminous (maximum M g  = −22.25 mag) and that has one of the longest rise times (77 days from explosion to maximum). We estimate the total radiated energy to be > 2.1 × 10 51 erg. SN 2020qlb has a well-sampled light curve that exhibits clear near and post peak undulations, a phenomenon seen in other SLSNe, whose physical origin is still unknown. Aims. We discuss the potential power source of this immense explosion as well as the mechanisms behind its observed light curve undulations. Methods. We analyze photospheric spectra and compare them to other SLSNe-I. We constructed the bolometric light curve using photometry from a large data set of observations from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), Liverpool Telescope (LT), and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and compare it with radioactive, circumstellar interaction and magnetar models. Model residuals and light curve polynomial fit residuals are analyzed to estimate the undulation timescale and amplitude. We also determine host galaxy properties based on imaging and spectroscopy data, including a detection of the [O III] λ 4363, auroral line, allowing for a direct metallicity measurement. Results. We rule out the Arnett 56 Ni decay model for SN 2020qlb’s light curve due to unphysical parameter results. Our most favored power source is the magnetic dipole spin-down energy deposition of a magnetar. Two to three near peak oscillations, intriguingly similar to those of SN 2015bn, were found in the magnetar model residuals with a timescale of 32 ± 6 days and an amplitude of 6% of peak luminosity. We rule out centrally located undulation sources due to timescale considerations; and we favor the result of ejecta interactions with circumstellar material (CSM) density fluctuations as the source of the undulations. 
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    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.

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    We present a sample of 14 hydrogen-rich superluminous supernovae (SLSNe II) from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) between 2018 and 2020. We include all classified SLSNe with peaks Mg < −20 mag with observed broad but not narrow Balmer emission, corresponding to roughly 20 per cent of all hydrogen-rich SLSNe in ZTF phase I. We examine the light curves and spectra of SLSNe II and attempt to constrain their power source using light-curve models. The brightest events are photometrically and spectroscopically similar to the prototypical SN 2008es, while others are found spectroscopically more reminiscent of non-superluminous SNe II, especially SNe II-L. 56Ni decay as the primary power source is ruled out. Light-curve models generally cannot distinguish between circumstellar interaction (CSI) and a magnetar central engine, but an excess of ultraviolet (UV) emission signifying CSI is seen in most of the SNe with UV data, at a wide range of photometric properties. Simultaneously, the broad H α profiles of the brightest SLSNe II can be explained through electron scattering in a symmetric circumstellar medium (CSM). In other SLSNe II without narrow lines, the CSM may be confined and wholly overrun by the ejecta. CSI, possibly involving mass lost in recent eruptions, is implied to be the dominant power source in most SLSNe II, and the diversity in properties is likely the result of different mass loss histories. Based on their radiated energy, an additional power source may be required for the brightest SLSNe II, however – possibly a central engine combined with CSI.

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  4. Abstract During the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Phase I operations, 78 hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I) were discovered in less than 3 yr, constituting the largest sample from a single survey. This paper (Paper I) presents the data, including the optical/UV light curves and classification spectra, while Paper II in this series will focus on the detailed analysis of the light curves and modeling. Our photometry is primarily taken by ZTF in the g , r , and i bands, and with additional data from other ground-based facilities and Swift. The events of our sample cover a redshift range of z = 0.06 − 0.67, with a median and 1 σ error (16% and 84% percentiles) of z med = 0.265 − 0.135 + 0.143 . The peak luminosity covers −22.8 mag ≤ M g ,peak ≤ −19.8 mag, with a median value of − 21.48 − 0.61 + 1.13 mag. The light curves evolve slowly with a mean rest-frame rise time of t rise = 41.9 ± 17.8 days. The luminosity and timescale distributions suggest that low-luminosity SLSNe-I with a peak luminosity ∼−20 mag or extremely fast-rising events (<10 days) exist, but are rare. We confirm previous findings that slowly rising SLSNe-I also tend to fade slowly. The rest-frame color and temperature evolution show large scatters, suggesting that the SLSN-I population may have diverse spectral energy distributions. The peak rest-frame color shows a moderate correlation with the peak absolute magnitude, i.e., brighter SLSNe-I tend to have bluer colors. With optical and UV photometry, we construct the bolometric luminosity and derive a bolometric correction relation that is generally applicable for converting g , r -band photometry to the bolometric luminosity for SLSNe-I. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Context. We present observations of ZTF20aatqesi (SN 2020faa). This Type II supernova (SN) displays a luminous light curve (LC) that started to rebrighten from an initial decline. We investigate this in relation to the famous SN iPTF14hls, which received a great deal of attention and multiple interpretations in the literature, but whose nature and source of energy still remain unknown. Aims. We demonstrate the great similarity between SN 2020faa and iPTF14hls during the first 6 months, and use this comparison to forecast the evolution of SN 2020faa and to reflect on the less well observed early evolution of iPTF14hls. Methods. We present and analyse our observational data, consisting mainly of optical LCs from the Zwicky Transient Facility in the gri bands and of a sequence of optical spectra. We construct colour curves and a bolometric lc, and we compare ejecta-velocity and black-body radius evolutions for the two supernovae (SNe) and for more typical Type II SNe. Results. The LCs show a great similarity with those of iPTF14hls over the first 6 months in luminosity, timescale, and colour. In addition, the spectral evolution of SN 2020faa is that of a Type II SN, although it probes earlier epochs than those available for iPTF14hls. Conclusions. The similar LC behaviour is suggestive of SN 2020faa being a new iPTF14hls. We present these observations now to advocate follow-up observations, since most of the more striking evolution of SN iPTF14hls came later, with LC undulations and a spectacular longevity. On the other hand, for SN 2020faa we have better constraints on the explosion epoch than we had for iPTF14hls, and we have been able to spectroscopically monitor it from earlier phases than was done for the more famous sibling. 
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  6. 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. 
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