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A low-energy core-collapse supernova without a hydrogen envelope

Valenti, S. and Pastorello, A. and Cappellaro, E. and Benetti, S. and Mazzali, P. A. and Manteca, J. and Taubenberger, S. and Elias-Rosa, N. and Ferrando, R. and Harutyunyan, A. and Hentunen, V. P. and Nissinen, M. and Pian, E. and Turatto, M. and Zampieri, L. and Smartt, S. J. (2009) A low-energy core-collapse supernova without a hydrogen envelope. Nature, 459 (7247). pp. 674-677. ISSN 0028-0836.

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The final fate of massive stars depends on many factors. Theory suggests that some with initial masses greater than 25 to 30 solar masses end up as Wolf–Rayet stars, which are deficient in hydrogen in their outer layers because of mass loss through strong stellar winds. The most massive of these stars have cores which may form a black hole and theory predicts that the resulting explosion of some of them produces ejecta of low kinetic energy, a faint optical luminosity and a small mass fraction of radioactive nickel. An alternative origin for low-energy supernovae is the collapse of the oxygen–neon core of a star of 7–9 solar masses. No weak, hydrogen-deficient, core-collapse supernovae have hitherto been seen. Here we report that SN 2008ha is a faint hydrogen-poor supernova. We propose that other similar events have been observed but have been misclassified as peculiar thermonuclear supernovae (sometimes labelled SN 2002cx-like events). This discovery could link these faint supernovae to some long-duration γ-ray bursts, because extremely faint, hydrogen-stripped core-collapse supernovae have been proposed to produce such long γ-ray bursts, the afterglows of which do not show evidence of associated supernovae.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Valenti, S.0000-0001-8818-0795
Cappellaro, E.0000-0001-5008-8619
Benetti, S.0000-0002-3256-0016
Mazzali, P. A.0000-0001-6876-8284
Taubenberger, S.0000-0002-4265-1958
Elias-Rosa, N.0000-0002-1381-9125
Smartt, S. J.0000-0002-8229-1731
Additional Information:© 2009 Nature Publishing Group. Received 12 January; accepted 24 March 2009. This work, conducted as part of the European Science Foundation EURYI Awards scheme, was supported by funds from the Participating Organisations of EURYI and the EC Sixth Framework Programme. The work of S.B., E.C. and M.T. was supported by grants of the PRIN of Italian Ministry of University and Science Research. This paper is based on observations collected at TNG, NOT, LT (La Palma Canary Island, Spain), at Ekar (Asiago Observatory, Italy), at the Begues Observatory and Arguines Observatory telescopes (Barcelona and Segorbe, Spain), at the Taurus Hill Observatory (Varkaus, Finland), at the Calar Alto Observatory (Spain) and at the ESO-UT2 (Paranal, Chile). Our analysis included data from the SUSPECT Archive ( This manuscript made use of information contained in the Bright Supernova web pages (D. Bishop), as part of the Rochester Academy of Sciences.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (MIUR)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7247
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090813-085255040
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15005
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Aug 2009 21:46
Last Modified:14 Dec 2019 00:06

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