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Title: An Empirical Fitting Method for Type Ia Supernova Light Curves: A Case Study of SN 2011fe

Abstract

We present a new empirical fitting method for the optical light curves of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We find that a variant broken-power-law function provides a good fit, with the simple assumption that the optical emission is approximately the blackbody emission of the expanding fireball. This function is mathematically analytic and is derived directly from the photospheric velocity evolution. When deriving the function, we assume that both the blackbody temperature and photospheric velocity are constant, but the final function is able to accommodate these changes during the fitting procedure. Applying it to the case study of SN 2011fe gives a surprisingly good fit that can describe the light curves from the first-light time to a few weeks after peak brightness, as well as over a large range of fluxes (∼5 mag, and even ∼7 mag in the g band). Since SNe Ia share similar light-curve shapes, this fitting method has the potential to fit most other SNe Ia and characterize their properties in large statistical samples such as those already gathered and in the near future as new facilities become available.

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22654510
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 838; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; APPROXIMATIONS; BRIGHTNESS; EMISSION; EVOLUTION; FLAMES; NUCLEAR FIREBALLS; SUPERNOVAE; VELOCITY; VISIBLE RADIATION

Citation Formats

Zheng, WeiKang, and Filippenko, Alexei V., E-mail: zwk@astro.berkeley.edu. An Empirical Fitting Method for Type Ia Supernova Light Curves: A Case Study of SN 2011fe. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA6442.
Zheng, WeiKang, & Filippenko, Alexei V., E-mail: zwk@astro.berkeley.edu. An Empirical Fitting Method for Type Ia Supernova Light Curves: A Case Study of SN 2011fe. United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA6442.
Zheng, WeiKang, and Filippenko, Alexei V., E-mail: zwk@astro.berkeley.edu. Mon . "An Empirical Fitting Method for Type Ia Supernova Light Curves: A Case Study of SN 2011fe". United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA6442.
@article{osti_22654510,
title = {An Empirical Fitting Method for Type Ia Supernova Light Curves: A Case Study of SN 2011fe},
author = {Zheng, WeiKang and Filippenko, Alexei V., E-mail: zwk@astro.berkeley.edu},
abstractNote = {We present a new empirical fitting method for the optical light curves of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We find that a variant broken-power-law function provides a good fit, with the simple assumption that the optical emission is approximately the blackbody emission of the expanding fireball. This function is mathematically analytic and is derived directly from the photospheric velocity evolution. When deriving the function, we assume that both the blackbody temperature and photospheric velocity are constant, but the final function is able to accommodate these changes during the fitting procedure. Applying it to the case study of SN 2011fe gives a surprisingly good fit that can describe the light curves from the first-light time to a few weeks after peak brightness, as well as over a large range of fluxes (∼5 mag, and even ∼7 mag in the g band). Since SNe Ia share similar light-curve shapes, this fitting method has the potential to fit most other SNe Ia and characterize their properties in large statistical samples such as those already gathered and in the near future as new facilities become available.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8213/AA6442},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
number = 1,
volume = 838,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Mar 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon Mar 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}