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A Spitzer survey for dust-obscured supernovae

Fox, Ori D. and Khandrika, Harish and Rubin, David and Casper, Chadwick and Li, Gary Z. and Szalai, Tamás and Armus, Lee and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Skrutskie, Michael F. and Strolger, Lou and Van Dyk, Schuyler D. (2021) A Spitzer survey for dust-obscured supernovae. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 506 (3). pp. 4199-4209. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stab1740.

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Supernova (SN) rates serve as an important probe of star formation models and initial mass functions. Near-infrared seeing-limited ground-based surveys typically discover a factor of 3–10 fewer SNe than predicted from far-infrared luminosities owing to sensitivity limitations arising from both a variable point-spread function (PSF) and high dust extinction in the nuclear regions of star-forming galaxies. This inconsistency has potential implications for our understanding of star-formation rates and massive-star evolution, particularly at higher redshifts, where star-forming galaxies are more common. To resolve this inconsistency, a successful SN survey in the local universe must be conducted at longer wavelengths and with a space-based telescope, which has a stable PSF to reduce the necessity for any subtraction algorithms and thus residuals. Here, we report on a 2-yr Spitzer/IRAC 3.6 $\mu$m survey for dust-extinguished SNe in the nuclear regions of forty luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs) within 200 Mpc. The asymmetric Spitzer PSF results in worse than expected subtraction residuals when implementing standard template subtraction. Forward-modelling techniques improve our sensitivity by several ∼1.5 mag. We report the detection of 9 SNe, five of which were not discovered by optical surveys. After adjusting our predicted rates to account for the sensitivity of our survey, we find that the number of detections is consistent with the models. While this search is none the less hampered by a difficult-to-model PSF and the relatively poor resolution of Spitzer, it will benefit from future missions, such as Roman and the James Webb Space Telescope, with higher resolution and more symmetric PSFs.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Fox, Ori D.0000-0003-2238-1572
Khandrika, Harish0000-0002-9011-0216
Rubin, David0000-0001-5402-4647
Szalai, Tamás0000-0003-4610-1117
Armus, Lee0000-0003-3498-2973
Filippenko, Alexei V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Skrutskie, Michael F.0000-0001-8671-5901
Strolger, Lou0000-0002-7756-4440
Van Dyk, Schuyler D.0000-0001-9038-9950
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2021 June 15. Received 2021 June 15; in original form 2021 March 15. The authors acknowledge an anonymous referee for helpful comments that led to improvements in this paper. We also give tremendous thanks to the IRAC instrument support team at the Spitzer Science Center (SSC) for their continued assistance over the years. They are also grateful to Rick Arendt for his helpful comments. ODF additionally thanks Peter Capak, Sean Carey, and Patrick Lowrance for useful technical discussions. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope (PID 90031), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech, primarily supporting students CC, GL, and HK. Additional support was provided to DR and HK by STScI’s DDRF Grant D0001.82477 and the TSRC programme. TS is supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, by the New National Excellence Program (UNKP-20-5) of the Ministry of Technology and Innovation of Hungary, by the GINOP-2-3-2-15-2016-00033 project of the National Research, Development, and Innovation Office of Hungary (NKFIH) funded by the European Union, and by NKFIH/OTKA FK-134432 grant. AVF acknowledges support from the TABASGO Foundation, the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, and the U.C. Berkeley Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (in which he is a Senior Miller Fellow). Data Availability: The data underlying this article will be shared on reasonable request to the corresponding author.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Hungarian Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Ministry for Innovation and Technology (Hungary)UNKP-20-5
National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Hungary)GINOP-2-3-2-15-2016-00033
Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA)FK-134432
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
Miller Institute for Basic Research in ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:supernovae: general, dust, extinction, infrared: stars
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220309-966469000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ori D Fox, Harish Khandrika, David Rubin, Chadwick Casper, Gary Z Li, Tamás Szalai, Lee Armus, Alexei V Filippenko, Michael F Skrutskie, Lou Strolger, Schuyler D Van Dyk, A Spitzer survey for dust-obscured supernovae, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 506, Issue 3, September 2021, Pages 4199–4209,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113850
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:11 Mar 2022 16:56
Last Modified:11 Mar 2022 16:56

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