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    We present optical photometry and spectroscopy of the superluminous SN 2002gh from maximum light to +204 d, obtained as part of the Carnegie Type II Supernova (CATS) project. SN 2002gh is among the most luminous discovered supernovae ever, yet it remained unnoticed for nearly two decades. Using Dark Energy Camera archival images we identify the potential supernova (SN) host galaxy as a faint dwarf galaxy, presumably having low metallicity, and in an apparent merging process with other nearby dwarf galaxies. We show that SN 2002gh is among the brightest hydrogen-poor SLSNe with MV = −22.40 ± 0.02, with an estimated peak bolometric luminosity of 2.6 ± 0.1 × 1044 erg s−1. We discount the decay of radioactive nickel as the main SN power mechanism, and assuming that the SN is powered by the spin-down of a magnetar we obtain two alternative solutions. The first case, is characterized by significant magnetar power leakage, and Mej between 0.6 and 3.2 M⊙, Pspin = 3.2 ms, and B = 5 × 1013 G. The second case does not require power leakage, resulting in a huge ejecta mass of about 30 M⊙, a fast spin period of Pspin ∼ 1 ms, and B ∼ 1.6 × 1014 G. We estimate a zero-age main-sequence mass between 14 and 25 M⊙ for the first case and ofmore »about 135 M⊙ for the second case. The latter case would place the SN progenitor among the most massive stars observed to explode as an SN.

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  2. Abstract We present the 30 minutes cadence Kepler/K2 light curve of the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) SN 2018agk, covering approximately one week before explosion, the full rise phase, and the decline until 40 days after peak. We additionally present ground-based observations in multiple bands within the same time range, including the 1 day cadence DECam observations within the first ∼5 days after the first light. The Kepler early light curve is fully consistent with a single power-law rise, without evidence of any bump feature. We compare SN 2018agk with a sample of other SNe Ia without early excess flux from the literature. We find that SNe Ia without excess flux have slowly evolving early colors in a narrow range ( g − i ≈ −0.20 ± 0.20 mag) within the first ∼10 days. On the other hand, among SNe Ia detected with excess, SN 2017cbv and SN 2018oh tend to be bluer, while iPTF16abc’s evolution is similar to normal SNe Ia without excess in g − i . We further compare the Kepler light curve of SN 2018agk with companion-interaction models, and rule out the existence of a typical nondegenerate companion undergoing Roche lobe overflow at viewing angles smallermore »than 45°.« less
  3. The type Ia supernova (SN) 2012fr displayed an unusual combination of its Si II λλ5972, 6355 features. This includes the ratio of their pseudo-equivalent widths, placing it at the border of the shallow silicon (SS) and core normal (CN) spectral subtype in the Branch diagram, while the Si II λ6355 expansion velocities place it as a high-velocity (HV) object in the Wang et al. spectral type that most interestingly evolves slowly, placing it in the low-velocity gradient (LVG) typing of Benetti et al. Only 5% of SNe Ia are HV and located in the SS+CN portion of the Branch diagram, and fewer than 10% of SNe Ia are both HV and LVG. These features point toward SN 2012fr being quite unusual, similar in many ways to the peculiar SN 2000cx. We modeled the spectral evolution of SN 2012fr to see if we could gain some insight into its evolutionary behavior. We use the parameterized radiative transfer code SYNOW to probe the abundance stratification of SN 2012fr at pre-maximum, maximum, and post-maximum light epochs. We also use a grid of W7 models in the radiative transfer code PHOENIX to probe the effect of different density structures on the formation of themore »Si II λ6355 absorption feature at post-maximum epochs. We find that the unusual features observed in SN 2012fr are likely due to a shell-like density enhancement in the outer ejecta. We comment on possible reasons for atypical Ca II absorption features, and suggest that they are related to the Si II features. This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Baade Telescope, located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.« less
  4. We examine the early phase intrinsic (B - V)0 color evolution of a dozen SNe Ia discovered within three days of the inferred time of first light (t first) and have (B - V)0 color information beginning within five days of t first. The sample indicates there are two distinct early populations. The first is a population exhibiting blue colors that slowly evolve, and the second population exhibits red colors and evolves more rapidly. We find that the early blue events are all 1991T/1999aa-like with more luminous, slower declining light curves than those exhibiting early red colors. Placing the first sample on the Branch diagram (i.e., ratio of Si II λλ5972, 6355 pseudo-Equivalent widths) indicates that all blue objects are of the Branch shallow silicon (SS) spectral type, while all early red events except for the 2000cx-like SN 2012fr are of the Branch Core Normal (CN) or CooL (CL) type. A number of potential processes contributing to the early emission are explored, and we find that, in general, the viewing-angle dependance inherent in the companion collision model is inconsistent with all of the SS objects with early-time observations being blue and exhibiting an excess. We caution that great care mustmore »be taken when interpreting early phase light curves as there may be a variety of physical processes that are possibly at play and significant theoretical work remains to be done.« less