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SN 2009ip after a decade: the luminous blue variable progenitor is now gone

Smith, Nathan and Andrews, Jennifer E. and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Fox, Ori D. and Mauerhan, Jon C. and Van Dyk, Schuyler D. (2022) SN 2009ip after a decade: the luminous blue variable progenitor is now gone. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 515 (1). pp. 71-81. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stac1669.

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We present new Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging photometry for the site of the Type IIn supernova (SN) 2009ip taken almost a decade after explosion. The optical source has continued to fade steadily since the SN-like event in 2012. In the F606W filter, which was also used to detect its luminous blue variable (LBV) progenitor 13 yr before the SN, the source at the position of SN 2009ip is now 1.2 mag fainter than that quiescent progenitor. It is 6–7 mag fainter than the pre-SN outbursts in 2009–2011. This definitively rules out a prediction that the source would return to its previous state after surviving the 2012 event. Instead, the late-time fading matches expectations for a terminal explosion. The source fades at a similar rate in all visual-wavelength filters without significant colour changes, therefore also ruling out the hypothesis of a luminous dust-obscured survivor or transition to a hotter post-LBV survivor. The late-time continuum with steady colour and strong Hα emission detected in a narrow F657N filter are, however, entirely expected for ongoing shock interaction with circumstellar material in a decade-old core-collapse SN. Interestingly, the ultraviolet flux has stayed nearly constant since 2015, supporting previous conjectures that the F275W light traces main-sequence OB stars in an underlying young star cluster. We expect that the visual-wavelength continuum will eventually level off, tracing this cluster light. Without any additional outbursts, it seems prudent to consider the 2012 event as a terminal SN explosion, and we discuss plausible scenarios.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Smith, Nathan0000-0001-5510-2424
Andrews, Jennifer E.0000-0003-0123-0062
Filippenko, Alexei V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Fox, Ori D.0000-0003-2238-1572
Mauerhan, Jon C.0000-0002-7555-8741
Van Dyk, Schuyler D.0000-0001-9038-9950
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 ( Received: 02 May 2022. Revision received: 10 June 2022. Accepted: 10 June 2022. Published: 21 June 2022. Corrected and typeset: 14 July 2022. Support was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through HST grants GO-13787, AR-14295, GO-15166, and GO-16649 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. NS thanks S. Woosley for interesting discussions. AVF is grateful for support from the U.C. Berkeley Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (where he was a Miller Senior Fellow) and the Christopher R. Redlich Fund. DATA AVAILABILITY. The data underlying this article will be shared on reasonable request to the corresponding author. HST data will be non-proprietary and available from the public archive.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Miller Institute for Basic Research in ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:circumstellar matter, stars: evolution, stars: massive, supernovae: individual: SN 2009ip
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220804-249961000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Nathan Smith, Jennifer E Andrews, Alexei V Filippenko, Ori D Fox, Jon C Mauerhan, Schuyler D Van Dyk, SN 2009ip after a decade: the luminous blue variable progenitor is now gone, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 515, Issue 1, September 2022, Pages 71–81,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116116
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:09 Aug 2022 20:19
Last Modified:09 Aug 2022 20:19

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