skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A UV resonance line echo from a shell around a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova

Abstract

Hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSN-I) are a class of rare and energetic explosions discovered in untargeted transient surveys in the past decade. The progenitor stars and the physical mechanism behind their large radiated energies ($$\sim10^{51}$$ erg) are both debated, with one class of models primarily requiring a large rotational energy, while the other requires very massive progenitors to either convert kinetic energy into radiation via interaction with circumstellar material (CSM), or engender a pair-instability explosion. Observing the structure of the CSM around SLSN-I offers a powerful test of some scenarios, though direct observations are scarce. Here, we present a series of spectroscopic observations of the SLSN-I iPTF16eh, which reveal both absorption and time- and frequency-variable emission in the Mg II resonance doublet. We show that these observations are naturally explained as a resonance scattering light echo from a circumstellar shell. Modeling the evolution of the emission, we find a shell radius of 0.1 pc and velocity of 3300 km s$$^{-1}$$, implying the shell was ejected three decades prior to the supernova explosion. These properties match theoretical predictions of pulsational pair-instability shell ejections, and imply the progenitor had a He core mass of $$\sim 50-55~{\rm M}_{\odot}$$, corresponding to an initial mass of $$\sim 115~{\rm M}_{\odot}$$.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [8];  [8];  [9];  [10]; ORCiD logo [8];  [8]; ORCiD logo [11]; ORCiD logo [3];  [8];  [8];  [8];  [12] more »;  [2];  [3];  [13];  [14] « less
  1. Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden); California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  2. Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden)
  3. Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel)
  4. Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
  5. Univ. of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  6. Liverpool John Moores Univ., Liverpool (United Kingdom)
  7. San Diego State Univ., San Diego, CA (United States); The Univ. of Tokyo, Chiba (Japan)
  8. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  9. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States); Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  10. European Southern Observatory, Garching bei Munchen (Germany)
  11. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  12. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  13. The Univ. of Tokyo, Chiba (Japan)
  14. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21)
OSTI Identifier:
1477407
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Astronomy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2397-3366
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Lunnan, R., Fransson, C., Vreeswijk, P. M., Woosley, S. E., Leloudas, G., Perley, D. A., Quimby, R. M., Yan, Lin, Blagorodnova, N., Bue, B. D., Cenko, S. B., De Cia, A., Cook, D. O., Fremling, C. U., Gatkine, P., Gal-Yam, A., Kasliwal, M. M., Kulkarni, S. R., Masci, F. J., Nugent, P. E., Nyholm, A., Rubin, A., Suzuki, N., and Wozniak, P. A UV resonance line echo from a shell around a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0568-z.
Lunnan, R., Fransson, C., Vreeswijk, P. M., Woosley, S. E., Leloudas, G., Perley, D. A., Quimby, R. M., Yan, Lin, Blagorodnova, N., Bue, B. D., Cenko, S. B., De Cia, A., Cook, D. O., Fremling, C. U., Gatkine, P., Gal-Yam, A., Kasliwal, M. M., Kulkarni, S. R., Masci, F. J., Nugent, P. E., Nyholm, A., Rubin, A., Suzuki, N., & Wozniak, P. A UV resonance line echo from a shell around a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova. United States. doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0568-z.
Lunnan, R., Fransson, C., Vreeswijk, P. M., Woosley, S. E., Leloudas, G., Perley, D. A., Quimby, R. M., Yan, Lin, Blagorodnova, N., Bue, B. D., Cenko, S. B., De Cia, A., Cook, D. O., Fremling, C. U., Gatkine, P., Gal-Yam, A., Kasliwal, M. M., Kulkarni, S. R., Masci, F. J., Nugent, P. E., Nyholm, A., Rubin, A., Suzuki, N., and Wozniak, P. Mon . "A UV resonance line echo from a shell around a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova". United States. doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0568-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1477407.
@article{osti_1477407,
title = {A UV resonance line echo from a shell around a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova},
author = {Lunnan, R. and Fransson, C. and Vreeswijk, P. M. and Woosley, S. E. and Leloudas, G. and Perley, D. A. and Quimby, R. M. and Yan, Lin and Blagorodnova, N. and Bue, B. D. and Cenko, S. B. and De Cia, A. and Cook, D. O. and Fremling, C. U. and Gatkine, P. and Gal-Yam, A. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Masci, F. J. and Nugent, P. E. and Nyholm, A. and Rubin, A. and Suzuki, N. and Wozniak, P.},
abstractNote = {Hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSN-I) are a class of rare and energetic explosions discovered in untargeted transient surveys in the past decade. The progenitor stars and the physical mechanism behind their large radiated energies ($\sim10^{51}$ erg) are both debated, with one class of models primarily requiring a large rotational energy, while the other requires very massive progenitors to either convert kinetic energy into radiation via interaction with circumstellar material (CSM), or engender a pair-instability explosion. Observing the structure of the CSM around SLSN-I offers a powerful test of some scenarios, though direct observations are scarce. Here, we present a series of spectroscopic observations of the SLSN-I iPTF16eh, which reveal both absorption and time- and frequency-variable emission in the Mg II resonance doublet. We show that these observations are naturally explained as a resonance scattering light echo from a circumstellar shell. Modeling the evolution of the emission, we find a shell radius of 0.1 pc and velocity of 3300 km s$^{-1}$, implying the shell was ejected three decades prior to the supernova explosion. These properties match theoretical predictions of pulsational pair-instability shell ejections, and imply the progenitor had a He core mass of $\sim 50-55~{\rm M}_{\odot}$, corresponding to an initial mass of $\sim 115~{\rm M}_{\odot}$.},
doi = {10.1038/s41550-018-0568-z},
journal = {Nature Astronomy},
number = 11,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 10 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

The Tenth data Release of the Sloan Digital sky Survey: First Spectroscopic data from the Sdss-Iii Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment
journal, March 2014

  • Ahn, Christopher P.; Alexandroff, Rachael; Allende Prieto, Carlos
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 211, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/211/2/17

Pulsational Pair-instability Supernovae
journal, February 2017


Hydrogen-Poor Superluminous Supernovae and Long-Duration Gamma-Ray Bursts have Similar host Galaxies
journal, May 2014


Gaia16apd – a link between fast and slowly declining type I superluminous supernovae
journal, April 2017

  • Kangas, T.; Blagorodnova, N.; Mattila, S.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 469, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx833

A Statistical Approach to Identify Superluminous Supernovae and Probe Their Diversity
journal, February 2018


On the nature of hydrogen-rich superluminous supernovae
journal, January 2018

  • Inserra, C.; Smartt, S. J.; Gall, E. E. E.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 475, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx3179

Metamorphosis of sn 2014c: Delayed Interaction Between a Hydrogen poor Core-Collapse Supernova and a Nearby Circumstellar Shell
journal, December 2015


Supernova Light Curves Powered by Young Magnetars
journal, June 2010


Superluminous supernova progenitors have a half-solar metallicity threshold
journal, June 2017

  • Chen, Ting-Wan; Smartt, Stephen J.; Yates, Rob M.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 470, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx1428

The IPAC Image Subtraction and Discovery Pipeline for the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory
journal, December 2016

  • Masci, Frank J.; Laher, Russ R.; Rebbapragada, Umaa D.
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 129, Issue 971
  • DOI: 10.1088/1538-3873/129/971/014002

Ejection of the Massive Hydrogen-rich Envelope Timed with the Collapse of the Stripped SN 2014C
journal, January 2017


Bright Supernovae from Magnetar Birth
journal, August 2010


Light-curve modelling of superluminous supernova 2006gy: collision between supernova ejecta and a dense circumstellar medium
journal, November 2012

  • Moriya, Takashi J.; Blinnikov, Sergei I.; Tominaga, Nozomu
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 428, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sts075

The Palomar Transient Factory: System Overview, Performance, and First Results
journal, December 2009

  • Law, Nicholas M.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.; Dekany, Richard G.
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 121, Issue 886
  • DOI: 10.1086/648598

The Line Emission from the Circumstellar Gas around SN 1987A
journal, June 1996

  • Lundqvist, Peter; Fransson, Claes
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 464
  • DOI: 10.1086/177380

An Efficient Low Resolution and Moderate Resolution Spectrograph for the Hale Telescope
journal, June 1982

  • Oke, J. B.; Gunn, J. E.
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 94
  • DOI: 10.1086/131027

Detection of Broad hα Emission Lines in the Late-Time Spectra of a Hydrogen-Poor Superluminous Supernova
journal, November 2015


Shock Breakout in Dense mass Loss: Luminous Supernovae
journal, February 2011


Slowly fading super-luminous supernovae that are not pair-instability explosions
journal, October 2013

  • Nicholl, M.; Smartt, S. J.; Jerkstrand, A.
  • Nature, Vol. 502, Issue 7471
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature12569

The Keck Low-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer
journal, April 1995

  • Oke, J. B.; Cohen, J. G.; Carr, M.
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 107
  • DOI: 10.1086/133562

The unprecedented 2012 outburst of SN 2009ip: a luminous blue variable star becomes a true supernova
journal, February 2013

  • Mauerhan, Jon C.; Smith, Nathan; Filippenko, Alexei V.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 430, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt009

[ITAL]Hubble Space Telescope[/ITAL] Proper-Motion Measurements of the η Carinae Nebula
journal, February 2001

  • Morse, Jon A.; Kellogg, James R.; Bally, John
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 548, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/319092

Narrow ultraviolet emission lines from SN 1987A - Evidence for CNO processing in the progenitor
journal, January 1989

  • Fransson, C.; Cassatella, A.; Gilmozzi, R.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 336
  • DOI: 10.1086/167022

PTF12os and iPTF13bvn: Two stripped-envelope supernovae from low-mass progenitors in NGC 5806⋆
journal, September 2016


Hydrogen-poor Superluminous Supernovae from the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey
journal, January 2018


INTERACTING SUPERNOVAE AND SUPERNOVA IMPOSTORS: SN 2009ip, IS THIS THE END?
journal, March 2013


Hydrogen-poor Superluminous Supernovae with Late-time H α Emission: Three Events From the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory
journal, October 2017


A blast wave from the 1843 eruption of η Carinae
journal, September 2008


FOCAS: The Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph for the Subaru Telescope
journal, December 2002

  • Kashikawa, Nobunari; Aoki, Kentaro; Asai, Ryo
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, Vol. 54, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1093/pasj/54.6.819

Pulsational Pair-instability Model for Superluminous Supernova PTF12dam:Interaction and Radioactive Decay
journal, February 2017


Pulsational pair instability as an explanation for the most luminous supernovae
journal, November 2007

  • Woosley, S. E.; Blinnikov, S.; Heger, Alexander
  • Nature, Vol. 450, Issue 7168
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature06333

On the diversity of superluminous supernovae: ejected mass as the dominant factor
journal, August 2015

  • Nicholl, M.; Smartt, S. J.; Jerkstrand, A.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 452, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1522

SN 2015bn: A DETAILED MULTI-WAVELENGTH VIEW OF A NEARBY SUPERLUMINOUS SUPERNOVA
journal, July 2016


The Automated Palomar 60 Inch Telescope
journal, October 2006

  • Cenko, S. Bradley; Fox, Derek B.; Moon, Dae‐Sik
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 118, Issue 848
  • DOI: 10.1086/508366

Type i Superluminous Supernovae as Explosions Inside Non-Hydrogen Circumstellar Envelopes
journal, September 2016

  • Sorokina, Elena; Blinnikov, Sergei; Nomoto, Ken’ichi
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 829, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/829/1/17

SN 2014C: VLBI images of a supernova interacting with a circumstellar shell
journal, December 2017

  • Bietenholz, Michael F.; Kamble, Atish; Margutti, Raffaella
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 475, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx3194

SEVEN-YEAR WILKINSON MICROWAVE ANISOTROPY PROBE ( WMAP ) OBSERVATIONS: COSMOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION
journal, January 2011

  • Komatsu, E.; Smith, K. M.; Dunkley, J.
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 192, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/192/2/18

Two Superluminous Supernovae from the Early Universe Discovered by the Supernova Legacy Survey
journal, November 2013


WISeREP—An Interactive Supernova Data Repository
journal, July 2012

  • Yaron, Ofer; Gal-Yam, Avishay
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 124, Issue 917
  • DOI: 10.1086/666656

Observational properties of low-redshift pair instability supernovae
journal, May 2014


Light Curves of Hydrogen-poor Superluminous Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory
journal, June 2018


The peculiar mass-loss history of SN 2014C as revealed through AMI radio observations
journal, December 2016

  • Anderson, G. E.; Horesh, A.; Mooley, K. P.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 466, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw3310

Luminous Supernovae
journal, August 2012


Measuring Reddening with Sloan Digital sky Survey Stellar Spectra and Recalibrating sfd
journal, August 2011


Hydrogen-poor superluminous stellar explosions
journal, June 2011

  • Quimby, R. M.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Kasliwal, M. M.
  • Nature, Vol. 474, Issue 7352
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature10095

THE HYDROGEN-POOR SUPERLUMINOUS SUPERNOVA iPTF 13ajg AND ITS HOST GALAXY IN ABSORPTION AND EMISSION
journal, November 2014

  • Vreeswijk, Paul M.; Savaglio, Sandra; Gal-Yam, Avishay
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 797, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/797/1/24

Host-Galaxy Properties of 32 Low-Redshift Superluminous Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory
journal, October 2016


Spectra of Hydrogen-poor Superluminous Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory
journal, February 2018

  • Quimby, Robert M.; Cia, Annalisa De; Gal-Yam, Avishay
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 855, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aaac2f

Wave-driven mass loss in the last year of stellar evolution: setting the stage for the most luminous core-collapse supernovae: Wave-Driven Mass loss
journal, May 2012


Supernova 2007bi as a pair-instability explosion
journal, December 2009


Late Emission from the Type Ib/c SN 2001em: Overtaking the Hydrogen Envelope
journal, April 2006

  • Chugai, Nikolai N.; Chevalier, Roger A.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 641, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/500539

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Pulsational Pair-instability Supernovae in Very Close Binaries
    journal, August 2019

    • Marchant, Pablo; Renzo, Mathieu; Farmer, Robert
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 882, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab3426