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  1. ABSTRACT

    Ultraviolet (UV) observations of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are crucial for constraining the properties of their progenitor systems. Theoretical studies predicted that the UV spectra, which probe the outermost layers of an SN, should be sensitive to the metal content of the progenitor. Using the largest SN Ia UV (λ < 2900 Å) spectroscopic sample obtained from Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, we investigate the dependence of UV spectra on metallicity. For the first time, our results reveal a correlation (∼2σ) between SN Ia UV flux and host-galaxy metallicities, with SNe in more metal-rich galaxies (which are likely to havemore »higher progenitor metallicities) having lower UV flux level. We find that this metallicity effect is only significant at short wavelengths (λ ≲ 2700 Å), which agrees well with the theoretical predictions. We produce UV spectral templates for SNe Ia at peak brightness. With our sample, we could disentangle the effect of light-curve shape and metallicity on the UV spectra. We also examine the correlation between the UV spectra and SN luminosities as parametrized by Hubble residuals. However, we do not see a significant trend with Hubble residuals. This is probably due to the large uncertainties in SN distances, as the majority of our sample members are extremely nearby (redshift z ≲ 0.01). Future work with SNe discovered in the Hubble flow will be necessary to constrain a potential metallicity bias on SN Ia cosmology.

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  2. ABSTRACT

    The Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) 2011by, hosted in NGC 3972, and 2011fe, hosted in M101, are optical ‘twins,’ having almost identical optical light-curve shapes, colours, and near-maximum-brightness spectra. However, SN 2011fe had significantly more ultraviolet (UV; 1600 < λ < 2500 Å) flux than SN 2011by before and at peak luminosity. Several theoretical models predict that SNe Ia with higher progenitor metallicity should (1) have additional UV opacity and thus lower UV flux; (2) have an essentially unchanged optical spectral-energy distribution; (3) have a similar optical light-curve shape; and (4) because of the excess neutrons, produce more stable Fe-group elements atmore »the expense of radioactive 56Ni and thus have a lower peak luminosity. Following these predictions, Foley and Kirshner suggested that the difference in UV flux between SNe 2011by and 2011fe was the result of their progenitors having significantly different metallicities. They also measured a large, but insignificant, difference between the peak absolute magnitudes of the SNe (ΔMV, peak = 0.60 ± 0.36 mag), with SN 2011fe being more luminous. We present a new Cepheid-based distance to NGC 3972, substantially improving the precision of the distance measurement for SN 2011by. With these new data, we determine that the SNe have significantly different peak luminosities (ΔMV, peak = 0.335 ± 0.069 mag). Consequently, SN 2011fe produced 38 per cent more 56Ni than SN 2011by, consistent with predictions for progenitor metallicity differences for these SNe, although alternative models may also explain this difference. We discuss how progenitor metallicity differences can contribute to the intrinsic scatter for light-curve-shape-corrected SN luminosities, the use of ‘twin’ SNe for measuring distances, and implications for using SNe Ia for constraining cosmological parameters.

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  3. ABSTRACT We present X-ray and radio observations of what may be the closest Type Iax supernova (SN) to date, SN 2014dt (d = 12.3–19.3 Mpc), and provide tight constraints on the radio and X-ray emission. We infer a specific radio luminosity $L_R\lt (1.0\!-\!2.4)\times 10^{25}\, \rm {erg\, s^{-1}\, Hz^{-1}}$ at a frequency of 7.5 GHz and a X-ray luminosity $L_X\lt 1.4\times 10^{38}\, \rm {erg\, s^{-1}}$ (0.3–10 keV) at ∼38–48 d post-explosion. We interpret these limits in the context of Inverse Compton (IC) emission and synchrotron emission from a population of electrons accelerated at the forward shock of the explosion in a power-law distribution $N_e(\gamma _e)\proptomore »\gamma _e^{-p}$ with p = 3. Our analysis constrains the progenitor system mass-loss rate to be $\dot{M}\lt 5.0 \times 10^{-6} \rm {M_{\odot }\, yr^{-1}}$ at distances $r\lesssim 10^{16}\, \rm {cm}$ for an assumed wind velocity $v_w=100\, \rm {km\, s^{-1}}$, and a fraction of post-shock energy into magnetic fields and relativistic electrons of ϵB = 0.01 and ϵe = 0.1, respectively. This result rules out some of the parameter space of symbiotic giant star companions, and it is consistent with the low mass-loss rates expected from He-star companions. Our calculations also show that the improved sensitivity of the next-generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) is needed to probe the very low-density media characteristic of He stars that are the leading model for binary stellar companions of white dwarfs giving origin to Type Iax SNe.« less
  4. ABSTRACT We present early-time (t < +50 d) observations of SN 2019muj (=ASASSN-19tr), one of the best-observed members of the peculiar SN Iax class. Ultraviolet and optical photometric and optical and near-infrared spectroscopic follow-up started from ∼5 d before maximum light [tmax(B) on $58707.8$ MJD] and covers the photospheric phase. The early observations allow us to estimate the physical properties of the ejecta and characterize the possible divergence from a uniform chemical abundance structure. The estimated bolometric light-curve peaks at 1.05 × 1042 erg s−1 and indicates that only 0.031 M⊙ of 56Ni was produced, making SN 2019muj a moderate luminosity object in the Iaxmore »class with peak absolute magnitude of $M_\rm {V} = -16.4$ mag. The estimated date of explosion is t0 = $58698.2$ MJD and implies a short rise time of trise = 9.6 d in B band. We fit of the spectroscopic data by synthetic spectra, calculated via the radiative transfer code tardis. Adopting the partially stratified abundance template based on brighter SNe Iax provides a good match with SN 2019muj. However, without earlier spectra, the need for stratification cannot be stated in most of the elements, except carbon, which is allowed to appear in the outer layers only. SN 2019muj provides a unique opportunity to link extremely low-luminosity SNe Iax to well-studied, brighter SNe Iax.« less