skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 10:00 PM ET on Friday, December 8 until 2:00 AM ET on Saturday, December 9 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1813176

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 high-cadence optical, ultraviolet (UV), and near-infrared data of the nearby ( D ≈ 23 Mpc) Type II supernova (SN) 2021yja. Many Type II SNe show signs of interaction with circumstellar material (CSM) during the first few days after explosion, implying that their red supergiant (RSG) progenitors experience episodic or eruptive mass loss. However, because it is difficult to discover SNe early, the diversity of CSM configurations in RSGs has not been fully mapped. SN 2021yja, first detected within ≈ 5.4 hours of explosion, shows some signatures of CSM interaction (high UV luminosity and radio and x-ray emission) but without the narrow emission lines or early light-curve peak that can accompany CSM. Here we analyze the densely sampled early light curve and spectral series of this nearby SN to infer the properties of its progenitor and CSM. We find that the most likely progenitor was an RSG with an extended envelope, encompassed by low-density CSM. We also present archival Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the host galaxy of SN 2021yja, which allows us to place a stringent upper limit of ≲ 9 M ☉ on the progenitor mass. However, this is in tension with some aspects of the SN evolution, which point to a more massive progenitor. Our analysis highlights the need to consider progenitor structure when making inferences about CSM properties, and that a comprehensive view of CSM tracers should be made to give a fuller view of the last years of RSG evolution. 
    more » « less
  2. 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
  3. Abstract We present high-cadence optical and ultraviolet light curves of the normal Type Ia supernova (SN) 2021aefx, which shows an early bump during the first two days of observation. This bump may be a signature of interaction between the exploding white dwarf and a nondegenerate binary companion, or it may be intrinsic to the white dwarf explosion mechanism. In the case of the former, the short duration of the bump implies a relatively compact main-sequence companion star, although this conclusion is viewing-angle dependent. Our best-fit companion-shocking and double-detonation models both overpredict the UV luminosity during the bump, and existing nickel-shell models do not match the strength and timescale of the bump. We also present nebular spectra of SN 2021aefx, which do not show the hydrogen or helium emission expected from a nondegenerate companion, as well as a radio nondetection that rules out all symbiotic progenitor systems and most accretion disk winds. Our analysis places strong but conflicting constraints on the progenitor of SN 2021aefx; no current model can explain all of our observations. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract SN 2017jgh is a type IIb supernova discovered by Pan-STARRS during the C16/C17 campaigns of the Kepler/K2 mission. Here we present the Kepler/K2 and ground based observations of SN 2017jgh, which captured the shock cooling of the progenitor shock breakout with an unprecedented cadence. This event presents a unique opportunity to investigate the progenitors of stripped envelope supernovae. By fitting analytical models to the SN 2017jgh lightcurve, we find that the progenitor of SN 2017jgh was likely a yellow supergiant with an envelope radius of ∼50 − 290 R⊙, and an envelope mass of ∼0 − 1.7 M⊙. SN 2017jgh likely had a shock velocity of ∼7500 − 10300 km s−1. Additionally, we use the lightcurve of SN 2017jgh to investigate how early observations of the rise contribute to constraints on progenitor models. Fitting just the ground based observations, we find an envelope radius of ∼50 − 330 R⊙, an envelope mass of ∼0.3 − 1.7 M⊙ and a shock velocity of ∼9, 000 − 15, 000 km s−1. Without the rise, the explosion time can not be well constrained which leads to a systematic offset in the velocity parameter and larger uncertainties in the mass and radius. Therefore, it is likely that progenitor property estimates through these models may have larger systematic uncertainties than previously calculated. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
  6. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The origin of the diverse light-curve shapes of Type II supernovae (SNe), and whether they come from similar or distinct progenitors, has been actively discussed for decades. Here, we report spectropolarimetry of two fast declining Type II (Type IIL) SNe: SN 2013ej and SN 2017ahn. SN 2013ej exhibited high continuum polarization from very soon after the explosion to the radioactive tail phase with time-variable polarization angles. The origin of this polarimetric behaviour can be interpreted as the combination of two different aspherical structures, namely an aspherical interaction of the SN ejecta with circumstellar matter (CSM) and an inherently aspherical explosion. Aspherical explosions are a common feature of slowly declining Type II (Type IIP) SNe. By contrast, SN 2017ahn showed low polarization not only in the photospheric phase but also in the radioactive tail phase. This low polarization in the tail phase, which has never before been observed in other Type IIP/L SNe, suggests that the explosion of SN 2017ahn was nearly spherical. These observations imply that Type IIL SNe have, at least, two different origins: they result from stars that have different explosion properties and/or different mass-loss processes. This fact might indicate that 13ej-like Type IIL SNe originate from a similar progenitor to those of Type IIP SNe accompanied by an aspherical CSM interaction, while 17ahn-like Type IIL SNe come from a more massive progenitor with less hydrogen in its envelope. 
    more » « less
  7. null (Ed.)
  8. null (Ed.)
  9. null (Ed.)