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    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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  2. The third Antarctic Survey Telescope array instrument at Dome A in Antarctica, the AST3-3 telescope, has been in commissioning from March 2021. We deployed AST3-3 at the Yaoan astronomical station in Yunnan Province for an automatic time-domain survey and follow-up observations with an optimised observation and protection system. The telescope system of AST3-3 is similar to that of AST3-1 and AST3-2, except that it is equipped with a 14 K × 10 K QHY411 CMOS camera. AST3-3 has a field of view of 1.65∘×1.23∘ and is currently using the g band filter. During commissioning at Yaoan, AST3-3 aims to conduct an extragalactic transient survey, coupled with prompt follow-ups of opportunity targets. In this paper, we present the architecture of the AST3-3 automatic observation system. We demonstrate the data processing of observations by representatives SN 2022eyw and GRB 210420B.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. Abstract Observational signatures of the circumstellar material (CSM) around Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) provide a unique perspective on their progenitor systems. The pre-supernova evolution of the SN progenitors may naturally eject CSM in most of the popular scenarios of SN Ia explosions. In this study, we investigate the influence of dust scattering on the light curves and polarizations of SNe Ia. A Monte Carlo method is constructed to numerically solve the process of radiative transfer through the CSM. Three types of geometric distributions of the CSM are considered: spherical shell, axisymmetric disk, and axisymmetric shell. We show that both the distance of the dust from the SN and the geometric distribution of the dust affect the light curve and color evolutions of SN. We found that the geometric location of the hypothetical circumstellar dust may not be reliably constrained based on photometric data alone, even for the best observed cases such as SN 2006X and SN 2014J, due to the degeneracy of CSM parameters. Our model results show that a time sequence of broadband polarimetry with appropriate time coverage from a month to about one year after explosion can provide unambiguous limits on the presence of circumstellar dust aroundmore »SNe Ia.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. Abstract We present a data-driven method based on long short-term memory (LSTM) neural networks to analyze spectral time series of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). The data set includes 3091 spectra from 361 individual SNe Ia. The method allows for accurate reconstruction of the spectral sequence of an SN Ia based on a single observed spectrum around maximum light. The precision of the spectral reconstruction increases with more spectral time coverages, but the significant benefit of multiple epoch data at around optical maximum is only evident for observations separated by more than a week. The method shows great power in extracting the spectral information of SNe Ia and suggests that the most critical information of an SN Ia can be derived from a single spectrum around the optical maximum. The algorithm we have developed is important for the planning of spectroscopic follow-up observations of future SN surveys with the LSST/Rubin and WFIRST/Roman telescopes.
    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
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 15, 2022
  6. ABSTRACT Detailed spectropolarimetric studies may hold the key to probing the explosion mechanisms and the progenitor scenarios of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We present multi-epoch spectropolarimetry and imaging polarimetry of SN 2019ein, an SN Ia showing high expansion velocities at early phases. The spectropolarimetry sequence spans from ∼−11 to +10 d relative to peak brightness in the B band. We find that the level of the continuum polarization of SN 2019ein, after subtracting estimated interstellar polarization, is in the range 0.0–0.3 per cent, typical for SNe Ia. The polarization position angle remains roughly constant before and after the SN light-curve peak, implying that the inner regions share the same axisymmetry as the outer layers. We observe high polarization (∼1 per cent) across both the Si ii λ6355 and Ca ii near-infrared triplet features. These two lines also display complex polarization modulations. The spectropolarimetric properties of SN 2019ein rule out a significant departure from spherical symmetry of the ejecta for up to a month after the explosion. These observations disfavour merger-induced and double-detonation models for SN 2019ein. The imaging polarimetry shows weak evidence for a modest increase in polarization after ∼20 d since the B-band maximum. If this rise is real and is observed in other SNe Ia at similar phases, we may havemore »seen, for the first time, an aspherical interior similar to what has been previously observed for SNe IIP. Future polarization observations of SNe Ia extending to post-peak epochs will help to examine the inner structure of the explosion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 3, 2022
  7. 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
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  8. Abstract We present the delay time distribution (DTD) estimates of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) using spatially resolved SN Ia host galaxy spectra from MUSE and MaNGA. By employing a grouping algorithm based on k -means and earth mover’s distances (EMDs), we separated the host galaxy stellar population age distributions (SPADs) into spatially distinct regions and used maximum likelihood method to constrain the DTD of SN Ia progenitors. When a power-law model of the form DTD( t ) ∝ t s ( t > τ ) is used, we find an SN rate decay slope s = − 1.41 − 0.33 + 0.32 and a delay time τ = 120 − 83 + 142 Myr . Moreover, we tested other DTD models, such as a broken power-law model and a two-component power-law model, and found no statistically significant support for these alternative models.