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SN2020qlb: a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova with well-characterized light curve undulations

West, S. L. and Lunnan, R. and Omand, C. M. B. and Kangas, T. and Schulze, S. and Strotjohann, N. and Yang, S. and Fransson, C. and Sollerman, J. and Perley, D. and Yan, L. and Chen, T.-W. and Chen, Z. H. and Taggart, K. and Fremling, C. and Bloom, J. S. and Drake, A. and Graham, M. J. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Laher, R. and Medford, M. S. and Neill, J. D. and Riddle, R. and Shupe, D. (2022) SN2020qlb: a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova with well-characterized light curve undulations. . (Unpublished)

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SN 2020qlb (ZTF20abobpcb) is a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova (SLSN-I) that is among the most luminous (maximum M₉ = −22.25 mag) and that has one of the longest rise times (77 days from explosion to maximum). We estimate the total radiated energy to be > 2.1 × 10⁵¹ ergs. SN 2020qlb has a well-sampled light curve that exhibits clear undulations, a phenomenon seen in other SLSNe, whose physical origin is still unknown. We discuss the potential power source of this immense explosion as well as the mechanisms behind its observed light curve undulations. We analyze photospheric spectra and compare them to other SLSNe-I. We construct the bolometric light curve using photometry from a large data set of observations from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), Liverpool Telescope (LT) and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and compare it with radioactive, circumstellar interaction and magnetar models. Model residuals and light curve polynomial fit residuals are analyzed to estimate the undulation timescale and amplitude. We also determine host galaxy properties based on imaging and spectroscopy data, including a detection of the [O III]λ4363Å, auroral line, allowing for a direct metallicity estimate. We rule out the Arnett ⁵⁶Ni decay model for SN 2020qlb's light curve due to unphysical parameter results. Our most favored power source is the magnetic dipole spin-down energy deposition of a magnetar. Two to three near peak oscillations, intriguingly similar to those of SN 2015bn, were found in the magnetar model residuals with a timescale of 32±6 days and an amplitude of 6% of peak luminosity. We rule out centrally located undulation sources due to timescale considerations; and we favor the result of ejecta interactions with circumstellar material (CSM) density fluctuations as the source of the undulations.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Lunnan, R.0000-0001-9454-4639
Schulze, S.0000-0001-6797-1889
Strotjohann, N.0000-0002-4667-6730
Yang, S.0000-0002-2898-6532
Fransson, C.0000-0001-8532-3594
Sollerman, J.0000-0003-1546-6615
Perley, D.0000-0001-8472-1996
Yan, L.0000-0003-1710-9339
Chen, T.-W.0000-0002-1066-6098
Taggart, K.0000-0002-5748-4558
Fremling, C.0000-0002-4223-103X
Bloom, J. S.0000-0002-7777-216X
Graham, M. J.0000-0002-3168-0139
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Laher, R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Medford, M. S.0000-0002-7226-0659
Neill, J. D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Riddle, R.0000-0002-0387-370X
Shupe, D.0000-0003-4401-0430
Additional Information:Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). The authors would like to give special thanks to Matt Nicholl (Birmingham Univ.) for his helpful discussions regarding an early version of this work. 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 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. 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 Grants No. AST-1440341 and AST-2034437 and a collaboration including current partners Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, Deutsches ElektronenSynchrotron and Humboldt University, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Trinity College Dublin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, IN2P3, University of Warwick, Ruhr University Bochum, Northwestern University and former partners the University of Washington, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. The ZTF forced-photometry service was funded under the Heising-Simons Foundation grant nr. 12540303 (PI: Graham). SED Machine is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1106171. 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. This work has been supported by the research project grant “Understanding the Dynamic Universe” funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation under Dnr KAW 2018.0067, and the G.R.E.A.T research environment, funded by Vetenskapsrådet, the Swedish Research Council, project number 2016-06012. 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. The data presented here were obtained in part with ALFOSC, which is provided by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA) under a joint agreement with the University of Copenhagen and NOT. This research is partially based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5–26555. These observations are associated with program SNAP-16657 (PI Fremling). This research has made use of the SVO Filter Profile Service ( supported from the Spanish MINECO through grant AYA2017-84089. T.-W. C. acknowledges the EU Funding under Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant H2020-MSCA-IF-2018-842471. Steve Schulze acknowledges support from the G.R.E.A.T research environment, funded by Vetenskapsrådet, the Swedish Research Council, project number 2016-06012.
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
Heising-Simons Foundation12540303
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationKAW 2018.0067
Swedish Research Council2016-06012
NASANAS 5-26555
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)AyA2017-84089
Marie Curie FellowshipH2020-MSCA-IF-2018-842471
Subject Keywords:superluminous – supernovae: general – supernovae: individual: SN 2020qlb, ZTF20abobpcb
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220526-173312318
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114945
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Jun 2022 15:05
Last Modified:01 Jun 2022 15:05

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