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    The observed diversity in Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) – the thermonuclear explosions of carbon–oxygen white dwarf stars used as cosmological standard candles – is currently met with a variety of explosion models and progenitor scenarios. To help improve our understanding of whether and how often different models contribute to the occurrence of SNe Ia and their assorted properties, we present a comprehensive analysis of seven nearby SNe Ia. We obtained one to two epochs of optical spectra with Gemini Observatory during the nebular phase (>200 d past peak) for each of these events, all of which had time series of photometry and spectroscopy at early times (the first ∼8 weeks after explosion). We use the combination of early- and late-time observations to assess the predictions of various models for the explosion (e.g. double-detonation, off-centre detonation, stellar collisions), progenitor star (e.g. ejecta mass, metallicity), and binary companion (e.g. another white dwarf or a non-degenerate star). Overall, we find general consistency in our observations with spherically symmetric models for SN Ia explosions, and with scenarios in which the binary companion is another degenerate star. We also present an in-depth analysis of SN 2017fzw, a member of the subgroup of SNe Ia which appear to be transitional betweenmore »the subluminous ‘91bg-like’ events and normal SNe Ia, and for which nebular-phase spectra are rare.

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    SN 2018hti was a very nearby (z = 0.0614) superluminous supernova with an exceedingly bright absolute magnitude of −21.7 mag in r band at maximum. The densely sampled pre-maximum light curves of SN 2018hti show a slow luminosity evolution and constrain the rise time to ∼50 rest-frame d. We fitted synthetic light curves to the photometry to infer the physical parameters of the explosion of SN 2018hti for both the magnetar and the CSM-interaction scenarios. We conclude that one of two mechanisms could be powering the luminosity of SN 2018hti; interaction with ∼10 M⊙ of circumstellar material or a magnetar with a magnetic field of Bp∼ 1.3 × 1013 G, and initial period of Pspin∼ 1.8 ms. From the nebular spectrum modelling we infer that SN 2018hti likely results from the explosion of a ${\sim}40\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ progenitor star.


    Spectropolarimetry enables us to measure the geometry and chemical structure of the ejecta in supernova explosions, which is fundamental for the understanding of their explosion mechanism(s) and progenitor systems. We collected archival data of 35 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), observed with Focal Reducer and Low-Dispersion Spectrograph (FORS) on the Very Large Telescope at 127 epochs in total. We examined the polarization of the Si ii λ6355 Å line ($p_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$) as a function of time, which is seen to peak at a range of various polarization degrees and epochs relative to maximum brightness. We reproduced the $\Delta m_{15}\!-\!p_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$ relationship identified in a previous study, and show that subluminous and transitional objects display polarization values below the $\Delta m_{15}\!-\!p_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$ relationship for normal SNe Ia. We found a statistically significant linear relationship between the polarization of the Si ii λ6355 Å line before maximum brightness and the Si ii line velocity and suggest that this, along with the $\Delta m_{15}\!-\!p_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$ relationship, may be explained in the context of a delayed-detonation model. In contrast, we compared our observations to numerical predictions in the $\Delta m_{15}\!-\!v_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$ plane and found a dichotomy in the polarization propertiesmore »between Chandrasekhar and sub-Chandrasekhar mass explosions, which supports the possibility of two distinct explosion mechanisms. A subsample of SNe displays evolution of loops in the q–u plane that suggests a more complex Si structure with depth. This insight, which could not be gleaned from total flux spectra, presents a new constraint on explosion models. Finally, we compared our statistical sample of the Si ii polarization to quantitative predictions of the polarization levels for the double-detonation, delayed-detonation, and violent-merger models.

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  4. Abstract SN 2014C was originally classified as a Type Ib supernova, but at phase ϕ = 127 days, post-explosion strong H α emission was observed. SN 2014C has since been observed in radio, infrared, optical and X-ray bands. Here we present new optical spectroscopic and photometric data spanning ϕ = 947–2494 days post-explosion. We address the evolution of the broadened H α emission line, as well as broad [O iii ] emission and other lines. We also conduct a parallel analysis of all publicly available multiwavelength data. From our spectra, we find a nearly constant H α FWHM velocity width of ∼2000 km s −1 that is significantly lower than that of other broadened atomic transitions (∼3000–7000 km s −1 ) present in our spectra ([O i ] λ 6300; [O iii ] λ λ 4959, 5007; He i λ 7065; [Ca ii ] λ λ 7291, 7324). The late radio data demand a fast forward shock (∼10,000 km s −1 at ϕ = 1700 days) in rarified matter that contrasts with the modest velocity of the H α . We propose that the infrared flux originates from a toroidal-like structure of hydrogen surrounding the progenitor system, while later emissionmore »at other wavelengths (radio, X-ray) likely originates predominantly from the reverse shock in the ejecta and the forward shock in the quasi-spherical progenitor He-wind. We propose that the H α emission arises in the boundary layer between the ejecta and torus. We also consider the possible roles of a pulsar and a binary companion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  5. ABSTRACT Some highly reddened Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) display low total-to-selective extinction ratios (RV ≲ 2) in comparison to that of typical Milky Way dust (RV ≈ 3.3), and polarization curves that rise steeply to blue wavelengths, with peak polarization values at short wavelengths ($\lambda _{\rm max} \lt 0.4\, \mu$m) in comparison to the typical Galactic values ($\lambda _{\rm max} \approx 0.55\, \mu$ m). Understanding the source of these properties could provide insight into the progenitor systems of SNe Ia. We aim to determine whether they are the result of the host galaxy’s interstellar dust or circumstellar dust. This is accomplished by analysing the continuum polarization of 66 SNe Ia in dust-rich spiral galaxies and 13 SNe Ia in dust-poor elliptical galaxies as a function of normalized galactocentric distance. We find that there is a general trend of SNe Ia in spiral galaxies displaying increased polarization values when located closer to the host galaxies’ centre, while SNe Ia in elliptical host galaxies display low polarization. Furthermore, all highly polarized SNe Ia in spiral host galaxies display polarization curves rising toward blue wavelengths, while no evidence of such polarization properties is shown in elliptical host galaxies. This indicates that the source of the peculiar polarizationmore »curves is likely the result of interstellar material as opposed to circumstellar material. The peculiar polarization and extinction properties observed toward some SNe Ia may be explained by the radiative torque disruption mechanism induced by the SN or the interstellar radiation field.« less