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The bumpy light curve of Type IIn supernova iPTF13z over 3 years
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
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2017 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 605, article id A6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A core-collapse (CC) supernova (SN) of Type IIn is dominated by the interaction of SN ejecta with the circumstellar medium (CSM). Some SNe IIn (e.g. SN 2006jd) have episodes of re-brightening (''bumps'') in their light curves. We present iPTF13z, a Type IIn SN discovered on 2013 February 1 by the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF). This SN showed at least five bumps in its declining light curve between 130 and 750 days after discovery. We analyse this peculiar behaviour and try to infer the properties of the CSM, of the SN explosion, and the nature of the progenitor star. We obtained multi-band optical photometry for over 1000 days after discovery with the P48 and P60 telescopes at Palomar Observatory. We obtained low-resolution optical spectra during the same period. We did an archival search for progenitor outbursts. We analyse the photometry and the spectra, and compare iPTF13z to other SNe IIn. In particular we derive absolute magnitudes, colours, a pseudo-bolometric light curve, and the velocities of the different components of the spectral lines. A simple analytical model is used to estimate the properties of the CSM. iPTF13z had a light curve peaking at Mr <~ -18.3 mag. The five bumps during its decline phase had amplitudes ranging from 0.4 to 0.9 mag and durations between 20 and 120 days. The most prominent bumps appeared in all the different optical bands, when covered. The spectra of this SN showed typical SN IIn characteristics, with emission lines of Hα (with broad component FWHM ~ 103 - 104 km s-1 and narrow component FWHM ~ 102 km s-1) and He I, but also with Fe II, Ca II, Na I D and Hβ P Cygni profiles (with velocities of ~ 103 km  s-1). A pre-explosion outburst was identified lasting >~ 50 days, with Mr  -15 mag around 210 days before discovery. Large, variable progenitor mass-loss rates (>~ 0.01 MSun yr-1) and CSM densities (>~ 10-16 g cm-3) are derived. The SN was hosted by a metal-poor dwarf galaxy at redshift z = 0.0328. We suggest that the light curve bumps of iPTF13z arose from SN ejecta interacting with denser regions in the CSM, possibly produced by the eruptions of a luminous blue variable progenitor star.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 605, article id A6
Keywords [en]
supernovae: general, supernovae: individual: iPTF13z, galaxies: individual: SDSS J160200.05+211442.3
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147273DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201629906ISI: 000412231200072OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147273DiVA, id: diva2:1143033
Available from: 2017-09-20 Created: 2017-09-20 Last updated: 2019-08-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bumpy light curves of interacting supernovae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bumpy light curves of interacting supernovae
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A supernova (SN) is the explosive destruction of a star. Via a luminous outpouring of radiation, the SN can rival the brightness of its SN host galaxy for months or years. In the past decade, astronomical surveys regularly observing the sky to deep limiting magnitudes have revealed that core collapse SNe (the demises of massive stars) are sometimes preceded by eruptive episodes by the progenitor stars during the years before the eventual SN explosion. Such SNe tend to show strong signatures of interaction between the SN ejecta and the circumstellar medium (CSM) deposited by the star before the SN explosion, likely by mass-loss episodes like the ones we have started to observe regularly. The complex CSM resolved around certain giant stars in our own galaxy and the eruptions of giant stars like η Car in the 19th century can be seen in this context. As the SN ejecta of an interacting SN sweep up the CSM of the progenitor, radiation from this process offers observers opportunity to scan the late mass loss history of the progenitor. In this thesis, interacting SNe and eruptive mass loss of their progenitors is discussed. The SN iPTF13z (discovered by the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory, iPTF) is presented. This transient was followed with optical photometry and spectroscopy during 1000 days and displayed a light curve with several conspicuous re-brigthenings ("bumps"), likely arising from SN ejecta interacting with denser regions in the CSM. Around 200 days before discovery, in archival data we found a clear precursor outburst lasting >~ 50 days. A well-observed (but not necessarily well understood) event like SN 2009ip, which showed both precursor outbursts and a light curve bump, makes an interesting comparison object. The embedding of the (possible) SN in a CSM makes it hard to tell if a destructive SN explosion actually happened. In this respect, iPTF13z is compared to e.g. SN 2009ip but also to long-lived interacting SNe like SN 1988Z. Some suggestions for future investigations are offered, to tie light curve bumps to precursor events and to clarify the question of core collapse in the ambiguous cases of some interacting SNe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för astronomi, Stockholms universitet, 2017. p. 61
Keywords
iPTF13z, supernova, SN, circumstellar medium, CSM, SN Type IIn, intermediate Palomar Transient Factory, iPTF
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147289 (URN)
Presentation
2017-05-18, FB42, AlbaNova, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-09-27 Created: 2017-09-22 Last updated: 2017-09-27Bibliographically approved
2. Supernova surroundings on circumstellar and galactic scales
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supernova surroundings on circumstellar and galactic scales
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Some stars cease to be in a bright and destructive display called a supernova. This thesis explores what we can learn about supernovae (SNe) by studying their immediate surroundings, and what the SNe can teach us about their environments. The work presented is mostly based on the rich harvest of observations from 2009-2017 by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) and its successor, the intermediate PTF (iPTF). The PTF/iPTF was an untargeted sky survey at Palomar Observatory, aimed at finding and following up astronomical transients, such as SNe. During its existence, a massive star typically loses several solar masses of material. If much mass is lost in the decades or centuries before the SN, this material around the star (the circumstellar medium, CSM) will be quickly swept up by the ejecta of the eventual SN. This interaction can contribute strongly to the luminosity of the SN and make the light curve of an interacting SN carry signs of the progenitor star mass loss history. SNe with a hydrogen-rich CSM are called SNe Type IIn. A SN of this type, iPTF13z, found and followed by iPTF, had a slowly declining lightcurve with at least 5 major rebrightenings ("bumps") indicating rich structure in the CSM. Archival images clearly shows a precursor outburst about 210 days before the SN discovery, demonstrating the iPTF13z progenitor to be restless before its demise. Type IIn supernovae are heterogeneous, but only limited statistics has been done on samples. From PTF/iPTF, a sample of 42 SNe Type IIn was therefore selected, with photometry allowing their light curve rise times, decline rates and peak luminosities to be measured. It was shown that more luminous events are generally more long-lasting, but no strong correlation was found between rise times and peak luminosities. Two clusters of risetimes (around 20 and 50 days, respectively) were identified. The less long-lasting SNe Type IIn dominate the sample, suggesting that stars with a less extended dense CSM might be more common among SN Type IIn progenitors. Thermonuclear SNe (SNe Type Ia) are useful as standardisable candles, but no secure identification has yet been made of the progenitor system of a SN Type Ia. Using a late-time spectrum from the Nordic Optical Telescope of the nearby thermonuclear SN 2014J, a search for material ablated from a possible non-compact companion gave the upper limit of about 0.0085 solar masses of hydrogen-rich ablated gas. One likely explanation is that the SN 2014J progenitor system was a binary white dwarf. Supernovae are also useful tracers of the star formation history in their host galaxies, with SNe Type Ia tracing earlier epochs of star formation and exploding massive stars tracing more recent. For active galactic nuclei (AGN, the luminous centres of galaxies harbouring accreting supermassive black holes) SNe allows the so-called unification model to be tested. The unification model assumes that the main distinction between the two types of AGN is the viewing angle towards the central black hole, and that other properties (e.g. star formation history) of the host galaxies should be the same for the two AGN types. Matching 2190 SNe from PTF/iPTF to about 89000 AGN with spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a significantly higher number of SNe in the hosts of AGN type 2 was found, challenging the unification model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 116
Keywords
supernovae, circumstellar medium, SNe Type IIn, iPTF13z, intermediate Palomar Transient Factory, active galactic nuclei, SN 2014J
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171451 (URN)978-91-7797-803-9 (ISBN)978-91-7797-804-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-23, sal FB42, AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-08-29 Created: 2019-08-08 Last updated: 2019-10-09Bibliographically approved

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Nyholm, AndersSollerman, JesperTaddia, FrancescoFremling, ChristofferRoy, Rupak
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