skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Polin, Abigail"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract We present a method for analyzing supernova remnants (SNRs) by diagnosing the drivers responsible for structure at different angular scales. First, we perform a suite of hydrodynamic models of the Rayleigh–Taylor instability (RTI) as a supernova (SN) collides with its surrounding medium. Using these models we demonstrate how power spectral analysis can be used to attribute which scales in an SNR are driven by RTI and which must be caused by intrinsic asymmetries in the initial explosion. We predict the power spectrum of turbulence driven by RTI and identify a dominant angular mode that represents the largest scale that efficiently grows via RTI. We find that this dominant mode relates to the density scale height in the ejecta, and therefore reveals the density profile of the SN ejecta. If there is significant structure in an SNR on angular scales larger than this mode, then it is likely caused by anisotropies in the explosion. Structure on angular scales smaller than the dominant mode exhibits a steep scaling with wavenumber, possibly too steep to be consistent with a turbulent cascade, and therefore might be determined by the saturation of RTI at different length scales (although systematic 3D studies are needed to investigate this). We also demonstrate, consistent with previous studies, that this power spectrum is independent of the magnitude and length scales of perturbations in the surrounding medium and therefore this diagnostic is unaffected by “clumpiness” in the circumstellar medium. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The fate of stars in the zero-age main-sequence (ZAMS) range ≈8–12Mis unclear. They could evolve to form white dwarfs or explode as electron-capture supernovae (SNe) or iron core-collapse SNe (CCSNe). Even though the initial mass function indicates that this mass range should account for over 40% of all CCSN progenitors, few have been observationally confirmed, likely due to the faintness and rapid evolution of some of these transients. In this paper, we present a sample of nine Ca-rich/O-poor Type IIb SNe detected by the Zwicky Transient Facility with progenitors likely in this mass range. These sources have a [Caii]λλ7291, 7324/[Oi]λλ6300, 6364 flux ratio of ≳2 in their nebular spectra. Comparing the measured [Oi] luminosity (≲1039erg s−1) and derived oxygen mass (≈0.01M) with theoretical models, we infer that the progenitor ZAMS mass for these explosions is less than 12M. The ejecta properties (Mej≲ 1MandEkin∼ 1050erg) are also consistent. The low ejecta mass of these sources indicates a class of strongly-stripped SNe that is a transition between the regular stripped-envelope SNe and ultra-stripped SNe. The progenitor could be stripped by a main-sequence companion and result in the formation of a neutron star−main sequence binary. Such binaries have been suggested to be progenitors of neutron star−white dwarf systems that could merge within a Hubble time and be detectable with LISA.

    more » « less
  3. 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. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We present high-cadence ultraviolet through near-infrared observations of the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2023bee atD= 32 ± 3 Mpc, finding excess flux in the first days after explosion, particularly in our 10 minutes cadence TESS light curve and Swift UV data. Compared to a few other normal SNe Ia with early excess flux, the excess flux in SN 2023bee is redder in the UV and less luminous. We present optical spectra of SN 2023bee, including two spectra during the period where the flux excess is dominant. At this time, the spectra are similar to those of other SNe Ia but with weaker Siii, Cii,and Caiiabsorption lines, perhaps because the excess flux creates a stronger continuum. We compare the data to several theoretical models on the origin of early excess flux in SNe Ia. Interaction with either the companion star or close-in circumstellar material is expected to produce a faster evolution than observed. Radioactive material in the outer layers of the ejecta, either from double detonation explosion or from a56Ni clump near the surface, cannot fully reproduce the evolution either, likely due to the sensitivity of early UV observable to the treatment of the outer part of ejecta in simulation. We conclude that no current model can adequately explain the full set of observations. We find that a relatively large fraction of nearby, bright SNe Ia with high-cadence observations have some amount of excess flux within a few days of explosion. Considering potential asymmetric emission, the physical cause of this excess flux may be ubiquitous in normal SNe Ia.

    more » « less

    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.

    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    Calcium-rich (Ca-rich) transients are a new class of supernovae (SNe) that are known for their comparatively rapid evolution, modest peak luminosities, and strong nebular calcium emission lines. Currently, the progenitor systems of Ca-rich transients remain unknown. Although they exhibit spectroscopic properties not unlike core-collapse Type Ib/c SNe, nearly half are found in the outskirts of their host galaxies, which are predominantly elliptical, suggesting a closer connection to the older stellar populations of SNe Ia. In this paper, we present a compilation of publicly available multiwavelength observations of all known and/or suspected host galaxies of Ca-rich transients ranging from far-UV to IR, and use these data to characterize their stellar populations withprospector. We estimate several galaxy parameters including integrated star formation rate, stellar mass, metallicity, and age. For nine host galaxies, the observations are sensitive enough to obtain nonparametric star formation histories, from which we recover SN rates and estimate probabilities that the Ca-rich transients in each of these host galaxies originated from a core-collapse versus Type Ia-like explosion. Our work supports the notion that the population of Ca-rich transients do not come exclusively from core-collapse explosions, and must either be only from white dwarf stars or a mixed population of white dwarf stars with other channels, potentially including massive star explosions. Additional photometry and explosion site spectroscopy of larger samples of Ca-rich host galaxies will improve these estimates and better constrain the ratio of white dwarf versus massive star progenitors of Ca-rich transients.

    more » « less

    We present photometric and spectroscopic observations and analysis of SN 2021bxu (ATLAS21dov), a low-luminosity, fast-evolving Type IIb supernova (SN). SN 2021bxu is unique, showing a large initial decline in brightness followed by a short plateau phase. With $M_r = -15.93 \pm 0.16\, \mathrm{mag}$ during the plateau, it is at the lower end of the luminosity distribution of stripped-envelope supernovae (SE-SNe) and shows a distinct ∼10 d plateau not caused by H- or He-recombination. SN 2021bxu shows line velocities which are at least $\sim 1500\, \mathrm{km\, s^{-1}}$ slower than typical SE-SNe. It is photometrically and spectroscopically similar to Type IIb SNe during the photospheric phases of evolution, with similarities to Ca-rich IIb SNe. We find that the bolometric light curve is best described by a composite model of shock interaction between the ejecta and an envelope of extended material, combined with a typical SN IIb powered by the radioactive decay of 56Ni. The best-fitting parameters for SN 2021bxu include a 56Ni mass of $M_{\mathrm{Ni}} = 0.029^{+0.004}_{-0.005}\, \mathrm{{\rm M}_{\odot }}$, an ejecta mass of $M_{\mathrm{ej}} = 0.61^{+0.06}_{-0.05}\, \mathrm{{\rm M}_{\odot }}$, and an ejecta kinetic energy of $K_{\mathrm{ej}} = 8.8^{+1.1}_{-1.0} \times 10^{49}\, \mathrm{erg}$. From the fits to the properties of the extended material of Ca-rich IIb SNe we find a trend of decreasing envelope radius with increasing envelope mass. SN 2021bxu has MNi on the low end compared to SE-SNe and Ca-rich SNe in the literature, demonstrating that SN 2021bxu-like events are rare explosions in extreme areas of parameter space. The progenitor of SN 2021bxu is likely a low-mass He star with an extended envelope.

    more » « less
  8. 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. 
    more » « less