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  1. We present linear polarimetry for seven hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I) of which only one has previously published polarimetric data. The best-studied event is SN 2017gci, for which we present two epochs of spectropolarimetry at +3 d and +29 d post-peak in rest frame, accompanied by four epochs of imaging polarimetry up to +108 d. The spectropolarimetry at +3 d shows increasing polarisation degree P towards the redder wavelengths and exhibits signs of axial symmetry, but at +29 d, P  ∼ 0 throughout the spectrum, implying that the photosphere of SN 2017gci evolved from a slightly aspherical configuration to a more spherical one in the first month post-peak. However, an increase of P to ∼0.5% at ∼ + 55 d accompanied by a different orientation of the axial symmetry compared to +3 d implies the presence of additional sources of polarisation at this phase. The increase in polarisation is possibly caused by interaction with circumstellar matter (CSM), as already suggested by a knee in the light curve and a possible detection of broad H α emission at the same phase. We also analysed the sample of all 16 SLSNe-I with polarimetric measurements to date. The data taken during the early spectroscopic phase show consistently low polarisation, indicating at least nearly spherical photospheres. No clear relation between the polarimetry and spectral phase was seen when the spectra resemble Type Ic SNe during the photospheric and nebular phases. The light-curve decline rate, which spans a factor of eight, also shows no clear relation with the polarisation properties. While only slow-evolving SLSNe-I have shown non-zero polarisation, the fast-evolving ones have not been observed at sufficiently late times to conclude that none of them exhibit changing P . However, the four SLSNe-I with increasing polarisation degree also have irregular light-curve declines. For up to half of them, the photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric properties are affected by CSM interaction. As such, CSM interaction clearly plays an important role in understanding the polarimetric evolution of SLSNe-I. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. ABSTRACT

    An open question in SN Ia research is where the boundary lies between ‘normal’ Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) that are used in cosmological measurements and those that sit off the Phillips relation. We present the spectroscopic modelling of one such ‘86G-like’ transitional SN Ia, SN 2021rhu, that has recently been employed as a local Hubble Constant calibrator using a tip of the red-giant branch measurement. We detail its modelling from −12 d until maximum brightness using the radiative-transfer spectral-synthesis code tardis. Please check and correct this paper accordingly. We base our modelling on literature delayed-detonation and deflagration models of Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs, as well as the double-detonation models of sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs. We present a new method for ‘projecting’ abundance profiles to different density profiles for ease of computation. Due to the small velocity extent and low outer densities of the W7 profile, we find it inadequate to reproduce the evolution of SN 2021rhu as it fails to match the high-velocity calcium components. The host extinction of SN 2021rhu is uncertain but we use modelling with and without an extinction correction to set lower and upper limits on the abundances of individual species. Comparing these limits to literature models we conclude that the spectral evolution of SN 2021rhu is also incompatible with double-detonation scenarios, lying more in line with those resulting from the delayed-detonation mechanism (although there are some discrepancies, in particular a larger titanium abundance in SN 2021rhu compared to the literature). This suggests that SN 2021rhu is likely a lower luminosity, and hence lower temperature, version of a normal SN Ia.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT

    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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  4. 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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  5. ABSTRACT

    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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  6. Abstract

    Currently time-domain astronomy can scan the entire sky on a daily basis, discovering thousands of interesting transients every night. Classifying the ever-increasing number of new transients is one of the main challenges for the astronomical community. One solution that addresses this issue is the robotically controlled Spectral Energy Distribution Machine (SEDM) which supports the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). SEDM with its pipelinepysedmdemonstrates that real-time robotic spectroscopic classification is feasible. In an effort to improve the quality of the current SEDM data, we present here two new modules,byecrandcontsep. The first removes contamination from cosmic rays, and the second removes contamination from non-target light. These new modules are part of the automatedpysedmpipeline and fully integrated with the whole process. Employingbyecrandcontsepmodules together automatically extracts more spectra than the currentpysedmpipeline. UsingSNIDclassification results, the new modules show an improvement in the classification rate and accuracy of 2.8% and 1.7%, respectively, while the strength of the cross-correlation remains the same. Improvements to the SEDM astrometry would further boost the improvement of thecontsepmodule. This kind of robotic follow-up with a fully automated pipeline has the potential to provide the spectroscopic classifications for the transients discovered by ZTF and also by the Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time.

     
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  7. 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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  8. Abstract We present optical and near-infrared (NIR, Y - , J - , H- band) observations of 42 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) discovered by the untargeted intermediate Palomar Transient Factory survey. This new data set covers a broad range of redshifts and host galaxy stellar masses, compared to previous SN Ia efforts in the NIR. We construct a sample, using also literature data at optical and NIR wavelengths, to examine claimed correlations between the host stellar masses and the Hubble diagram residuals. The SN magnitudes are corrected for host galaxy extinction using either a global total-to-selective extinction ratio, R V = 2.0, for all SNe, or a best-fit R V for each SN individually. Unlike previous studies that were based on a narrower range in host stellar mass, we do not find evidence for a “mass step,” between the color- and stretch-corrected peak J and H magnitudes for galaxies below and above log ( M * / M ⊙ ) = 10 . However, the mass step remains significant (3 σ ) at optical wavelengths ( g , r , i ) when using a global R V , but vanishes when each SN is corrected using their individual best-fit R V . Our study confirms the benefits of the NIR SN Ia distance estimates, as these are largely exempted from the empirical corrections dominating the systematic uncertainties in the optical. 
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  9. ABSTRACT

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) in the nearby Hubble flow are excellent distance indicators in cosmology. The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) has observed a large sample of SNe from an untargeted, rolling survey, reaching 20.8, 20.6, and 20.3 mag in g r, and i band, respectively. With an FoV of 47 deg2, ZTF discovered > 3000 SNe Ia in a little over 2.5 yr. Here, we report on the sample of 761 spectroscopically classified SNe Ia from the first year of operations (DR1). The sample has a median redshift $\bar{z} =$ 0.057, nearly a factor of 2 higher than the current low-z sample. Our sample has a total of 934 spectra, of which 632 were obtained with the robotic SEDm on Palomar P60. We assess the potential for precision cosmology for a total of 305 SNe with redshifts from host galaxy spectra. The sample is already comparable in size to the entire combined literature low-z anchor sample. The median first detection is 13.5 d before maximum light, about 10 d earlier than the median in the literature. Furthermore, six SNe from our sample are at DL < 80 Mpc, for which host galaxy distances can be obtained in the JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE era, such that we have calibrator and Hubble flow SNe observed with the same instrument. In the entire duration of ZTF-I, we have observed nearly 50 SNe for which we can obtain calibrator distances, key for per cent level distance scale measurements.

     
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  10. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Stripped-envelope supernovae (SE-SNe) show a wide variety of photometric and spectroscopic properties. This is due to the different potential formation channels and the stripping mechanism that allows for a large diversity within the progenitors outer envelope compositions. Here, the photometric and spectroscopic observations of SN 2020cpg covering ∼130 d from the explosion date are presented. SN 2020cpg (z = 0.037) is a bright SE-SNe with the B-band peaking at MB = −17.75 ± 0.39 mag and a maximum pseudo-bolometric luminosity of Lmax = 6.03 ± 0.01 × 1042 erg s−1. Spectroscopically, SN 2020cpg displays a weak high- and low-velocity H α feature during the photospheric phase of its evolution, suggesting that it contained a detached hydrogen envelope prior to explosion. From comparisons with spectral models, the mass of hydrogen within the outer envelope was constrained to be ∼0.1 M⊙. From the pseudo-bolometric light curve of SN 2020cpg a 56Ni mass of MNi ∼ 0.27 ± 0.08 M⊙ was determined using an Arnett-like model. The ejecta mass and kinetic energy of SN 2020cpg were determined using an alternative method that compares the light curve of SN 2020cpg and several modelled SE-SNe, resulting in an ejecta mass of Mejc ∼ 5.5 ± 2.0 M⊙ and a kinetic energy of EK ∼ 9.0 ± 3.0 × 1051 erg. The ejected mass indicates a progenitor mass of 18−25 M⊙. The use of the comparative light curve method provides an alternative process to the commonly used Arnett-like model to determine the physical properties of SE-SNe. 
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