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Constraining Type Ia supernova explosions and early flux excesses with the Zwicky Transient Factory

Deckers, M. and Maguire, K. and Magee, M. R. and Dimitriadis, Georgios and Smith, M. and Sainz de Murieta, A. and Miller, A. A. and Goobar, A. and Nordin, J. and Rigault, M. and Bellm, E. C. and Coughlin, M. W. and Laher, R. R. and Shupe, D. L. and Graham, M. and Kasliwal, M. and Walters, R. (2022) Constraining Type Ia supernova explosions and early flux excesses with the Zwicky Transient Factory. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 512 (1). pp. 1317-1340. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stac558.

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In the new era of time-domain surveys, Type Ia supernovae are being caught sooner after explosion, which has exposed significant variation in their early light curves. Two driving factors for early-time evolution are the distribution of ⁵⁶Ni in the ejecta and the presence of flux excesses of various causes. We perform an analysis of the largest young SN Ia sample to date. We compare 115 SN Ia light curves from the Zwicky Transient Facility to the TURTLS model grid containing light curves of Chandrasekhar mass explosions with a range of ⁵⁶Ni masses, ⁵⁶Ni distributions, and explosion energies. We find that the majority of our observed light curves are well reproduced by Chandrasekhar mass explosion models with a preference for highly extended ⁵⁶Ni distributions. We identify six SNe Ia with an early-time flux excess in our gr-band data (four ‘blue’ and two ‘red’ flux excesses). We find an intrinsic rate of 18 ± 11 per cent of early flux excesses in SNe Ia at z < 0.07, based on three detected flux excesses out of 30 (10 per cent) observed SNe Ia with a simulated efficiency of 57 per cent. This is comparable to rates of flux excesses in the literature but also accounts for detection efficiencies. Two of these events are mostly consistent with circumstellar material interaction, while the other four have longer lifetimes in agreement with companion interaction and 56Ni-clump models. We find a higher frequency of flux excesses in 91T/99aa-like events (44 ± 13 per cent).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemTURTLS model grid ItemSimulated light curves
Deckers, M.0000-0001-8857-9843
Maguire, K.0000-0002-9770-3508
Magee, M. R.0000-0002-0629-8931
Dimitriadis, Georgios0000-0001-9494-179X
Smith, M.0000-0002-3321-1432
Sainz de Murieta, A.0000-0002-6975-6960
Miller, A. A.0000-0001-9515-478X
Goobar, A.0000-0002-4163-4996
Nordin, J.0000-0001-8342-6274
Rigault, M.0000-0002-8121-2560
Bellm, E. C.0000-0001-8018-5348
Coughlin, M. W.0000-0002-8262-2924
Laher, R. R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Shupe, D. L.0000-0003-4401-0430
Graham, M.0000-0002-3168-0139
Kasliwal, M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Walters, R.0000-0002-1835-6078
Additional Information:© 2022 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 2022 February 25. Received 2022 February 24; in original form 2021 May 24. Published: 03 March 2022. The authors would like to thank the anonymous referee for helpful comments that have significantly improved this paper. MD, KM, and MRM are funded by the EU H2020 ERC grant no. 758638. MR (+ MS) has (have) received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no 759194 – USNAC, PI: Rigault). MMK acknowledges generous support from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. This work was supported by the GROWTH project funded by the National Science Foundation under grant no. 1545949. MWC acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation with grant no. PHY-2010970. 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-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Oskar Klein Center 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 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. Funding for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, and the participating institutions. SDSS acknowledges support and resources from the Center for High-Performance Computing at the University of Utah. The SDSS website is This work made use of the Heidelberg Supernova Model Archive (HESMA). This work used the zttps forced photometry tool for identifying potential targets (Reusch 2020). The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys (PS1) and the PS1 public science archive have been made possible through contributions by the Institute for Astronomy, the University of Hawaii, the Pan-STARRS Project Office, the Max-Planck Society and its participating institutes, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, The Johns Hopkins University, Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, the Queen’s University Belfast, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network Incorporated, the National Central University of Taiwan, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant no. NNX08AR22G issued through the Planetary Science Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation grant no. AST-1238877, the University of Maryland, Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE), the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Data Availability: The TURTLS model grid implemented in this study is available at and is described in detail in Magee et al. (2018). All the ZTF light curves from the sample are described in Yao et al. (2019) and any public data are available on the ZTF GROWTH Marshall (Kasliwal et al. 2019). The forced photometry light curves will be shared on reasonable request to the corresponding author. The simulated light curves produced for the efficiency analysis are available at
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)758638
European Research Council (ERC)759194
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Participating InstitutionsUNSPECIFIED
University of MarylandUNSPECIFIED
Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE)UNSPECIFIED
Los Alamos National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:surveys, supernovae: general
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220503-351552600
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:M Deckers, K Maguire, M R Magee, G Dimitriadis, M Smith, A Sainz de Murieta, A A Miller, A Goobar, J Nordin, M Rigault, E C Bellm, M Coughlin, R R Laher, D L Shupe, M Graham, M Kasliwal, R Walters, Constraining Type Ia supernova explosions and early flux excesses with the Zwicky Transient Factory, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 512, Issue 1, May 2022, Pages 1317–1340,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114561
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 May 2022 22:26
Last Modified:03 May 2022 22:26

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