Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) | 2017 Sep 07
An international team of researchers has discovered a way to use observations at ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths to uncover characteristics about superluminous supernovae previously impossible to determine...
The team ... studies stellar explosions called Superluminous Supernovae (SLSNe), an extra bright type of supernova discovered in the last decade that is 10 to 100 times brighter than ordinary supernovae. Recently, the team came upon Gaia16apd in a faint dwarf galaxy 1.6 billion light years away.
This SLSNe had an extraordinary UV-bright emission (Figure 1) for a supernova of its kind, but no one could explain what explosion mechanism could produce that feature. Theorists have debated that Gaia16apd could fit one of three SLSNe scenarios. These are the pair-instability supernova, having a large mass of radioactive Nickel-56, or a magnetar-powered supernova where there would be a rapidly spinning and highly magnetized neutron star as an additional energy source, or a shock-interacting supernova where the supernova ejecta would interact with the surrounding dense circumstellar matter (Figure 2).
Researchers from Kavli IPMU therefore decided to simulate each model using multicolor radiation hydrodynamics to study light in different colors and ranges of wavelengths and see whether any of the simulations matched with the observed supernova. These simulations produced ultraviolet, visible-light and infrared light curves, photospheric radius and velocity, making it possible to investigate the appearance of the explosion at any wavelength. ...
Ultraviolet Light Curves of Gaia16apd in Superluminous Supernova Models - Alexey Tolstov et al
- Astrophysical Journal Letters 845(1):L2 (2017 Aug 10) DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aa808e
arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1707.05746 > 18 Jul 2017