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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 have 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 majoritymore »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 at 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,more »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 Hubble Space Telescope imaging of a pre-explosion counterpart to SN 2019yvr obtained 2.6 yr before its explosion as a type Ib supernova (SN Ib). Aligning to a post-explosion Gemini-S/GSAOI image, we demonstrate that there is a single source consistent with being the SN 2019yvr progenitor system, the second SN Ib progenitor candidate after iPTF13bvn. We also analysed pre-explosion Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) imaging, but we do not detect any counterparts at the SN location. SN 2019yvr was highly reddened, and comparing its spectra and photometry to those of other, less extinguished SNe Ib we derive $E(B-V)=0.51\substack{+0.27\\ -0.16}$ mag for SN 2019yvr. Correcting photometry of the pre-explosion source for dust reddening, we determine that this source is consistent with a log (L/L⊙) = 5.3 ± 0.2 and $T_{\mathrm{eff}} = 6800\substack{+400\\ -200}$ K star. This relatively cool photospheric temperature implies a radius of 320$\substack{+30\\ -50}~\mathrm{ R}_{\odot}$, much larger than expectations for SN Ib progenitor stars with trace amounts of hydrogen but in agreement with previously identified SN IIb progenitor systems. The photometry of the system is also consistent with binary star models that undergo common envelope evolution, leading to a primary star hydrogen envelope mass that is mostly depleted but still seemingly in conflict with the SN Ib classification of SN 2019yvr. SN 2019yvr had signatures ofmore »strong circumstellar interaction in late-time (>150 d) spectra and imaging, and so we consider eruptive mass-loss and common envelope evolution scenarios that explain the SN Ib spectroscopic class, pre-explosion counterpart, and dense circumstellar material. We also hypothesize that the apparent inflation could be caused by a quasi-photosphere formed in an extended, low-density envelope, or circumstellar matter around the primary star.« 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 Iax 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 amore »unique opportunity to link extremely low-luminosity SNe Iax to well-studied, brighter SNe Iax.« less