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Time-resolved Polarimetry of the Superluminous SN 2015bn with the Nordic Optical Telescope
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Number of Authors: 11
2017 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, ISSN 2041-8205, E-ISSN 2041-8213, Vol. 837, no 1, L14Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present imaging polarimetry of the superluminous supernova SN 2015bn, obtained over nine epochs between -20 and +46 days with the Nordic Optical Telescope. This was a nearby, slowly evolving Type I superluminous supernova that has been studied extensively and for which two epochs of spectropolarimetry are also available. Based on field stars, we determine the interstellar polarization in the Galaxy to be negligible. The polarization of SN. 2015bn shows a statistically significant increase during the last epochs, confirming previous findings. Our well-sampled imaging polarimetry series allows us to determine that this increase (from similar to 0.54% to greater than or similar to 1.10%) coincides in time with rapid changes that took place in the optical spectrum. We conclude that the supernova underwent a phase transition at around +20 days, when the photospheric emission shifted from an outer layer, dominated by natal C and O, to a more aspherical inner core, dominated by freshly nucleosynthesized material. This two-layered model might account for the characteristic appearance and properties of Type I superluminous supernovae.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 837, no 1, L14
Keyword [en]
supernovae: general, supernovae: individual (SN 2015bn)
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144586DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aa6157ISI: 000401605600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144586DiVA: diva2:1127915
Available from: 2017-07-20 Created: 2017-07-20 Last updated: 2017-07-20Bibliographically approved

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Sollerman, Jesper
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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