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Maximum luminosities of normal stripped-envelope supernovae are brighter than explosion models allow

Sollerman, J. and Yang, S. and Perley, D. and Schulze, S. and Fremling, C. and Kasliwal, M. and Shin, K. and Racine, B. (2022) Maximum luminosities of normal stripped-envelope supernovae are brighter than explosion models allow. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 657 . Art. No. A64. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202142049.

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Context. Stripped-envelope supernovae (SE SNe) of Type Ib and Type Ic are thought to be the result of explosions of massive stars that have lost their outer envelopes. The favored explosion mechanism is via core-collapse, with the shock later revived by neutrino heating. However, there is an upper limit to the amount of radioactive ⁵⁶Ni that such models can accommodate. Recent studies in the literature point to a tension between the maximum luminosity from such simulations and the observations. Aims. We used a well-characterized sample of SE SNe from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Bright Transient Survey (BTS) to scrutinize the observational caveats regarding estimates of the maximum luminosity (and thus the amount of ejected radioactive nickel) for the sample members. Methods. We employed the strict selection criteria for the BTS to collect a sample of spectroscopically classified normal Type Ibc SNe, for which we used the ZTF light curves to determine the maximum luminosity. We culled the sample further based on data quality, shape of the light curves, distances, and colors. Then we examined the uncertainties that may affect the measurements. The methodology of the sample construction based on this BTS sample can be used for other future investigations. Results. We analyzed the observational data, consisting of optical light curves and spectra, for the selected sub-samples. In total, we used 129 Type Ib or Type Ic BTS SNe with an initial rough luminosity distribution peaking at M_r = −17.61 ± 0.72, and where 36% are apparently brighter than the theoretically predicted maximum brightness of Mr = −17.8. When we further culled this sample to ensure that the SNe are normal Type Ibc with good LC data within the Hubble flow, the sample of 94 objects gives M_r = −17.64 ± 0.54. A main uncertainty in absolute magnitude determinations for SNe is the host galaxy extinction correction, but the reddened objects only get more luminous after corrections. If we simply exclude red objects, or those with unusual or uncertain colors, then we are left with 14 objects at M_r = −17.90 ± 0.73, whereof a handful are most certainly brighter than the suggested theoretical limit. The main result of this study is thus that normal SNe Ibc do indeed reach luminosities above 10^(42.6) erg s⁻¹, which is apparently in conflict with existing explosion models.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Sollerman, J.0000-0003-1546-6615
Yang, S.0000-0002-2898-6532
Perley, D.0000-0001-8472-1996
Schulze, S.0000-0001-6797-1889
Fremling, C.0000-0002-4223-103X
Kasliwal, M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Shin, K.0000-0002-1486-3582
Racine, B.0000-0001-8861-3052
Additional Information:© ESO 2022. Received 18 August 2021; Accepted 11 October 2021. Published online 11 January 2022. We thank Schuyler van Dyk for comments. Thanks also to the referee for encouraging comments. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48-inch and the 60-inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-2034437 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Trinity College Dublin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and IN2P3, France. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. SED Machine is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1106171. The ZTF forced-photometry service was funded under the Heising-Simons Foundation grant 12540303 (PI: Graham). This work was supported by the GROWTH project (Kasliwal et al. 2019) funded by the National Science Foundation under PIRE Grant No 1545949. The Oskar Klein Centre was funded by the Swedish Research Council. Gravitational Radiation and Electromagnetic Astrophysical Transients (GREAT) is funded by the Swedish Research council (VR) under Dnr 2016-06012. Partially based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, owned in collaboration by the University of Turku and Aarhus University, and operated jointly by Aarhus University, the University of Turku and the University of Oslo, representing Denmark, Finland and Norway, the University of Iceland and Stockholm University at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. Some of the data presented here were obtained with ALFOSC. M. M. K. acknowledges generous support from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.
Group:Zwicky Transient Facility, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3)UNSPECIFIED
Heising-Simons Foundation12540303
Swedish Research Council2016-06012
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:surveys – supernovae: general
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220131-166476500
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Maximum luminosities of normal stripped-envelope supernovae are brighter than explosion models allow. J. Sollerman, S. Yang, D. Perley, S. Schulze, C. Fremling, M. Kasliwal, K. Shin and B. Racine. A&A, 657 (2022) A64; DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113184
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Feb 2022 18:40
Last Modified:01 Feb 2022 18:40

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