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  1. Abstract The detonation of a thin (≲0.03 M ⊙ ) helium shell (He-shell) atop a ∼1 M ⊙ white dwarf (WD) is a promising mechanism to explain normal Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), while thicker He-shells and less massive WDs may explain some recently observed peculiar SNe Ia. We present observations of SN 2020jgb, a peculiar SN Ia discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). Near maximum brightness, SN 2020jgb is slightly subluminous (ZTF g -band absolute magnitude −18.7 mag ≲ M g ≲ −18.2 mag depending on the amount of host-galaxy extinction) and shows an unusually red color (0.2 mag ≲ g ZTF − r ZTF ≲ 0.4 mag) due to strong line-blanketing blueward of ∼5000 Å. These properties resemble those of SN 2018byg, a peculiar SN Ia consistent with an He-shell double detonation (DDet) SN. Using detailed radiative transfer models, we show that the optical spectroscopic and photometric evolution of SN 2020jgb is broadly consistent with a ∼0.95–1.00 M ⊙ (C/O core + He-shell) progenitor ignited by a ≳0.1 M ⊙ He-shell. However, one-dimensional radiative transfer models without non-local-thermodynamic-equilibrium treatment cannot accurately characterize the line-blanketing features, making the actual shell mass uncertain. We detect a prominent absorption feature at ∼1 μ m in the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum of SN 2020jgb, which might originate from unburnt helium in the outermost ejecta. While the sample size is limited, we find similar 1 μ m features in all the peculiar He-shell DDet candidates with NIR spectra obtained to date. SN 2020jgb is also the first peculiar He-shell DDet SN discovered in a star-forming dwarf galaxy, indisputably showing that He-shell DDet SNe occur in both star-forming and passive galaxies, consistent with the normal SN Ia population. 
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  2. Abstract Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are thermonuclear explosions of degenerate white dwarf stars destabilized by mass accretion from a companion star 1 , but the nature of their progenitors remains poorly understood. A way to discriminate between progenitor systems is through radio observations; a non-degenerate companion star is expected to lose material through winds 2 or binary interaction 3 before explosion, and the supernova ejecta crashing into this nearby circumstellar material should result in radio synchrotron emission. However, despite extensive efforts, no type Ia supernova (SN Ia) has ever been detected at radio wavelengths, which suggests a clean environment and a companion star that is itself a degenerate white dwarf star 4,5 . Here we report on the study of SN 2020eyj, a SN Ia showing helium-rich circumstellar material, as demonstrated by its spectral features, infrared emission and, for the first time in a SN Ia to our knowledge, a radio counterpart. On the basis of our modelling, we conclude that the circumstellar material probably originates from a single-degenerate binary system in which a white dwarf accretes material from a helium donor star, an often proposed formation channel for SNe Ia (refs.  6,7 ). We describe how comprehensive radio follow-up of SN 2020eyj-like SNe Ia can improve the constraints on their progenitor systems. 
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  3. Abstract The current Cepheid-calibrated distance ladder measurement of H 0 is reported to be in tension with the values inferred from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), assuming standard cosmology. However, some tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) estimates report H 0 in better agreement with the CMB. Hence, it is critical to reduce systematic uncertainties in local measurements to understand the Hubble tension. In this paper, we propose a uniform distance ladder between the second and third rungs, combining Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) observed by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) with a TRGB calibration of their absolute luminosity. A large, volume-limited sample of both calibrator and Hubble flow SNe Ia from the same survey minimizes two of the largest sources of systematics: host-galaxy bias and nonuniform photometric calibration. We present results from a pilot study using the existing TRGB distance to the host galaxy of ZTF SN Ia SN 2021rhu (aka ZTF21abiuvdk) in NGC7814. Combining the ZTF calibrator with a volume-limited sample from the first data release of ZTF Hubble flow SNe Ia, we infer H 0 = 76.94 ± 6.4 km s −1 Mpc −1 , an 8.3% measurement. The error budget is dominated by the single object calibrating the SN Ia luminosity in this pilot study. However, the ZTF sample includes already five other SNe Ia within ∼20 Mpc for which TRGB distances can be obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. Finally, we present the prospects of building this distance ladder out to 80 Mpc with James Webb Space Telescope observations of more than 100 ZTF SNe Ia. 
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  4. Abstract

    We present an analysis of ground-based and JWST observations of SN 2022pul, a peculiar “03fg-like” (or “super-Chandrasekhar”) Type Ia supernova (SN Ia), in the nebular phase at 338 days postexplosion. Our combined spectrum continuously covers 0.4–14μm and includes the first mid-infrared spectrum of a 03fg-like SN Ia. Compared to normal SN Ia 2021aefx, SN 2022pul exhibits a lower mean ionization state, asymmetric emission-line profiles, stronger emission from the intermediate-mass elements (IMEs) argon and calcium, weaker emission from iron-group elements (IGEs), and the first unambiguous detection of neon in a SN Ia. A strong, broad, centrally peaked [Neii] line at 12.81μm was previously predicted as a hallmark of “violent merger” SN Ia models, where dynamical interaction between two sub-MChwhite dwarfs (WDs) causes disruption of the lower-mass WD and detonation of the other. The violent merger scenario was already a leading hypothesis for 03fg-like SNe Ia; in SN 2022pul it can explain the large-scale ejecta asymmetries seen between the IMEs and IGEs and the central location of narrow oxygen and broad neon. We modify extant models to add clumping of the ejecta to reproduce the optical iron emission better, and add mass in the innermost region (<2000 km s−1) to account for the observed narrow [Oi]λλ6300, 6364 emission. A violent WD–WD merger explains many of the observations of SN 2022pul, and our results favor this model interpretation for the subclass of 03fg-like SNe Ia.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    We present a photometric and spectroscopic analysis of the ultraluminous and slowly evolving 03fg-like Type Ia SN 2021zny. Our observational campaign starts from ∼5.3 h after explosion (making SN 2021zny one of the earliest observed members of its class), with dense multiwavelength coverage from a variety of ground- and space-based telescopes, and is concluded with a nebular spectrum ∼10 months after peak brightness. SN 2021zny displayed several characteristics of its class, such as the peak brightness (MB = −19.95 mag), the slow decline (Δm15(B) = 0.62 mag), the blue early-time colours, the low ejecta velocities, and the presence of significant unburned material above the photosphere. However, a flux excess for the first ∼1.5 d after explosion is observed in four photometric bands, making SN 2021zny the third 03fg-like event with this distinct behaviour, while its +313 d spectrum shows prominent [O i] lines, a very unusual characteristic of thermonuclear SNe. The early flux excess can be explained as the outcome of the interaction of the ejecta with $\sim 0.04\, \mathrm{M_{\odot }}$ of H/He-poor circumstellar material at a distance of ∼1012 cm, while the low ionization state of the late-time spectrum reveals low abundances of stable iron-peak elements. All our observations are in accordance with a progenitor system of two carbon/oxygen white dwarfs that undergo a merger event, with the disrupted white dwarf ejecting carbon-rich circumstellar material prior to the primary white dwarf detonation.

     
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  6. 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. 
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  7. Abstract

    Among the supernovae (SNe) that show strong interaction with a circumstellar medium (CSM), there is a rare subclass of Type Ia supernovae, SNe Ia-CSM, which show strong narrow hydrogen emission lines much like SNe IIn but on top of a diluted Type Ia spectrum. The only previous systematic study of this class identified 16 SNe Ia-CSM, eight historic and eight from the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). Now using the successor survey to PTF, the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), we have classified 12 additional SNe Ia-CSM through the systematic Bright Transient Survey (BTS). Consistent with previous studies, we find these SNe to have slowly evolving optical light curves with peak absolute magnitudes between −19.1 and −21, spectra having weak Hβand large Balmer decrements of ∼7. Out of the 10 SNe from our sample observed by NEOWISE, nine have 3σdetections, with some SNe showing a reduction in the red wing of Hα, indicative of newly formed dust. We do not find our SN Ia-CSM sample to have a significantly different distribution of equivalent widths of Heiλ5876 than SNe IIn as observed in Silverman et al. The hosts tend to be late-type galaxies with recent star formation. We derive a rate estimate of2921+27Gpc−3yr−1for SNe Ia-CSM, which is ∼0.02%–0.2% of the SN Ia rate. We also identify six ambiguous SNe IIn/Ia-CSM in the BTS sample and including them gives an upper limit rate of 0.07%–0.8%. This work nearly doubles the sample of well-studied Ia-CSM objects in Silverman et al., increasing the total number to 28.

     
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  9. Abstract

    We present JWST near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopic observations of the nearby normal Type Ia supernova (SN) SN 2021aefx in the nebular phase at +255 days past maximum light. Our Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) and Mid Infrared Instrument observations, combined with ground-based optical data from the South African Large Telescope, constitute the first complete optical+NIR+MIR nebular SN Ia spectrum covering 0.3–14μm. This spectrum unveils the previously unobserved 2.5−5μm region, revealing strong nebular iron and stable nickel emission, indicative of high-density burning that can constrain the progenitor mass. The data show a significant improvement in sensitivity and resolution compared to previous Spitzer MIR data. We identify numerous NIR and MIR nebular emission lines from iron-group elements as well as lines from the intermediate-mass element argon. The argon lines extend to higher velocities than the iron-group elements, suggesting stratified ejecta that are a hallmark of delayed-detonation or double-detonation SN Ia models. We present fits to simple geometric line profiles to features beyond 1.2μm and find that most lines are consistent with Gaussian or spherical emission distributions, while the [Ariii] 8.99μm line has a distinctively flat-topped profile indicating a thick spherical shell of emission. Using our line profile fits, we investigate the emissivity structure of SN 2021aefx and measure kinematic properties. Continued observations of SN 2021aefx and other SNe Ia with JWST will be transformative to the study of SN Ia composition, ionization structure, density, and temperature, and will provide important constraints on SN Ia progenitor and explosion models.

     
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