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Bright, Months-long Stellar Outbursts Announce the Explosion of Interaction-powered Supernovae

Strotjohann, Nora L. and Ofek, Eran O. and Gal-Yam, Avishay and Bruch, Rachel J. and Schulze, Steve and Shaviv, Nir and Sollerman, Jesper and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Yaron, Ofer and Fremling, Christoffer and Nordin, Jakob and Kool, Erik C. and Perley, Dan A. and Ho, Anna Y. Q. and Yang, Yi and Yao, Yuhan and Soumagnac, Maayane T. and Graham, Melissa L. and Barbarino, Cristina and Tartaglia, Leonardo and De, Kishalay and Goldstein, Daniel A. and Cook, David O. and Brink, Thomas G. and Taggart, Kirsty and Yan, Lin and Lunnan, Ragnhild and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Kulkarni, Shri R. and Nugent, Peter E. and Masci, Frank J. and Rosnet, Philippe and Adams, Scott M. and Andreoni, Igor and Bagdasaryan, Ashot and Bellm, Eric C. and Burdge, Kevin and Duev, Dmitry A. and Dugas, Alison and Frederick, Sara and Goldwasser, Samantha and Hankins, Matthew and Irani, Ido and Karambelkar, Viraj and Kupfer, Thomas and Liang, Jingyi and Neill, James D. and Porter, Michael and Riddle, Reed L. and Sharma, Yashvi and Short, Phil and Taddia, Francesco and Tzanidakis, Anastasios and van Roestel, Jan and Walters, Richard and Zhuang, Zhuyun (2021) Bright, Months-long Stellar Outbursts Announce the Explosion of Interaction-powered Supernovae. Astrophysical Journal, 907 (2). Art. No. 99. ISSN 1538-4357.

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Interaction-powered supernovae (SNe) explode within an optically thick circumstellar medium (CSM) that could be ejected during eruptive events. To identify and characterize such pre-explosion outbursts, we produce forced-photometry light curves for 196 interacting SNe, mostly of Type IIn, detected by the Zwicky Transient Facility between early 2018 and 2020 June. Extensive tests demonstrate that we only expect a few false detections among the 70,000 analyzed pre-explosion images after applying quality cuts and bias corrections. We detect precursor eruptions prior to 18 Type IIn SNe and prior to the Type Ibn SN 2019uo. Precursors become brighter and more frequent in the last months before the SN and month-long outbursts brighter than magnitude −13 occur prior to 25% (5–69%, 95% confidence range) of all Type IIn SNe within the final three months before the explosion. With radiative energies of up to 10⁴⁹ erg, precursors could eject ~1 M⊙ of material. Nevertheless, SNe with detected precursors are not significantly more luminous than other SNe IIn, and the characteristic narrow hydrogen lines in their spectra typically originate from earlier, undetected mass-loss events. The long precursor durations require ongoing energy injection, and they could, for example, be powered by interaction or by a continuum-driven wind. Instabilities during the neon- and oxygen-burning phases are predicted to launch precursors in the final years to months before the explosion; however, the brightest precursor is 100 times more energetic than anticipated.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Strotjohann, Nora L.0000-0002-4667-6730
Ofek, Eran O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Gal-Yam, Avishay0000-0002-3653-5598
Bruch, Rachel J.0000-0001-8208-2473
Schulze, Steve0000-0001-6797-1889
Shaviv, Nir0000-0003-3894-8422
Sollerman, Jesper0000-0003-1546-6615
Filippenko, Alexei V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Yaron, Ofer0000-0002-0301-8017
Fremling, Christoffer0000-0002-4223-103X
Nordin, Jakob0000-0001-8342-6274
Kool, Erik C.0000-0002-7252-3877
Perley, Dan A.0000-0001-8472-1996
Ho, Anna Y. Q.0000-0002-9017-3567
Yao, Yuhan0000-0001-6747-8509
Soumagnac, Maayane T.0000-0001-6753-1488
Graham, Melissa L.0000-0002-9154-3136
Barbarino, Cristina0000-0002-3821-6144
Tartaglia, Leonardo0000-0003-3433-1492
De, Kishalay0000-0002-8989-0542
Goldstein, Daniel A.0000-0003-3461-8661
Cook, David O.0000-0002-6877-7655
Brink, Thomas G.0000-0001-5955-2502
Taggart, Kirsty0000-0002-5748-4558
Yan, Lin0000-0003-1710-9339
Lunnan, Ragnhild0000-0001-9454-4639
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kulkarni, Shri R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Nugent, Peter E.0000-0002-3389-0586
Masci, Frank J.0000-0002-8532-9395
Rosnet, Philippe0000-0002-6099-7565
Adams, Scott M.0000-0001-5855-5939
Andreoni, Igor0000-0002-8977-1498
Bellm, Eric C.0000-0001-8018-5348
Burdge, Kevin0000-0002-7226-836X
Duev, Dmitry A.0000-0001-5060-8733
Dugas, Alison0000-0001-7344-0208
Frederick, Sara0000-0001-9676-730X
Hankins, Matthew0000-0001-9315-8437
Irani, Ido0000-0002-7996-8780
Karambelkar, Viraj0000-0003-2758-159X
Kupfer, Thomas0000-0002-6540-1484
Neill, James D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Porter, Michael0000-0003-3168-5586
Riddle, Reed L.0000-0002-0387-370X
Sharma, Yashvi0000-0003-4531-1745
Short, Phil0000-0002-5096-9464
Taddia, Francesco0000-0002-2387-6801
Tzanidakis, Anastasios0000-0003-0484-3331
van Roestel, Jan0000-0002-2626-2872
Walters, Richard0000-0002-1835-6078
Zhuang, Zhuyun0000-0002-1945-2299
Additional Information:© 2021 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 October 27; revised 2020 December 1; accepted 2020 December 1; published 2021 February 3. We thank A. Nyholm for his comments on the manuscript. This work would not have been possible without the spectroscopic follow-up observations carried out by S. Anand, D. Bektesevic, N. Blagorodnova, M. Bulla, S. B. Cenko, W. Chen, P. Chinchilla, R. Clavero Jimenez, C. Cunningham, A. Dahiwale, L. Dominguez, A. J. Drake, C. Frohmaier, F. J. Galindo-Guil, E. Hammerstein, T. Hung, N. Jannsen, J. Jencson, R. Karjalainen, H. Ko, M. Kuhn, E. McEwen, A. A. Miller, S. Moran, M. C. Ramirez-Tannus, A. Smith, E. Swann, K. Teet, J. Vinko, and J. Viuho. We would like to thank participating observers on the UW APO ZTF follow-up team, including Brigitta Spiőcz, Eric Bellm, Zach Golkhou, Keaton Bell, and James Davenport. In addition, we thank A. Gangopadhyay, H. Ko, and S. Prentice for reducing optical spectra and for sharing their data. Based on observations obtained with the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope and the 60-inch Telescope at Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Centre at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. The SED Machine is based upon work supported by NSF grant 1106171. This work was supported by the GROWTH project funded by the NSF under PIRE grant 1545949. Partially based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated by the Nordic Optical Telescope Scientific Association at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. Some of the data presented herein were obtained with ALFOSC. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and NASA; the observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. The Liverpool Telescope is operated on the island of La Palma by Liverpool John Moores University in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias with financial support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. Research at Lick Observatory is partially supported by a generous gift from Google. The ztfquery code was funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 759194—USNAC, PI Rigault). E.O.O. is grateful for the support by grants from the Israel Science Foundation, Minerva, Israeli Ministry of Technology and Science, the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Weizmann-UK, Weizmann-Yale, and the Weizmann-Caltech grants. A.G.Y.s research is supported by the EU via ERC grant 725161, the ISF GW excellence center, an IMOS space infrastructure grant, and BSF/Transformative and GIF grants, as well as The Benoziyo Endowment Fund for the Advancement of Science, the Deloro Institute for Advanced Research in Space and Optics, The Veronika A. Rabl Physics Discretionary Fund, Paul and Tina Gardner, Yeda-Sela and the WIS-CIT joint research grant; A.G.Y. is the recipient of the Helen and Martin Kimmel Award for Innovative Investigation. N.J.S. is grateful for the support by the ISF (grant 1770/19). A.V.F. acknowledges support from the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, the TABASGO Foundation, and the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science. L.T. acknowledges support from MIUR (PRIN 2017 grant 20179ZF5KS). R.L. is supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship within the Horizon 2020 European Union (EU) Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (H2020-MSCA-IF-2017-794467). M.L.G. acknowledges support from the DiRAC Institute in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington. The DiRAC Institute is supported through generous gifts from the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, and the Washington Research Foundation.
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)759194
Israel Science Foundation1770/19
Ministry of Science and Technology (Israel)UNSPECIFIED
Binational Science Foundation (USA-Israel)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)725161
German-Israeli Foundation for Research and DevelopmentUNSPECIFIED
Benoziyo Endowment Fund for the Advancement of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Deloro Institute for Advanced Research in Space and OpticsUNSPECIFIED
Veronika A. Rabl Physics Discretionary FundUNSPECIFIED
Paul and Tina GardnerUNSPECIFIED
Weizmann Institute of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Helen and Martin Kimmel AwardUNSPECIFIED
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
Miller Institute for Basic Research in ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (MIUR)20179ZF5KS
Marie Curie FellowshipH2020-MSCA-IF-2017-794467
University of WashingtonUNSPECIFIED
Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Washington Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Eruptive phenomena ; Stellar mass loss ; Circumstellar matter ; Late stellar evolution ; Stellar flares ; Core-collapse supernovae
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Eruptive phenomena (475); Stellar mass loss (1613); Circumstellar matter (241); Late stellar evolution (911); Stellar flares (1603); Core-collapse supernovae (304)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210204-105727688
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Nora L. Strotjohann et al 2021 ApJ 907 99
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107922
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Feb 2021 20:51
Last Modified:04 Feb 2021 20:51

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