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PTF 11kx: A Type Ia Supernova with a Symbiotic Nova Progenitor

Dilday, B. and Horesh, A. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Kulkarni, S. R. (2012) PTF 11kx: A Type Ia Supernova with a Symbiotic Nova Progenitor. Science, 337 (6097). pp. 942-945. ISSN 0036-8075.

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There is a consensus that type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) arise from the thermonuclear explosion of white dwarf stars that accrete matter from a binary companion. However, direct observation of SN Ia progenitors is lacking, and the precise nature of the binary companion remains uncertain. A temporal series of high-resolution optical spectra of the SN Ia PTF 11kx reveals a complex circumstellar environment that provides an unprecedentedly detailed view of the progenitor system. Multiple shells of circumstellar material are detected, and the SN ejecta are seen to interact with circumstellar material starting 59 days after the explosion. These features are best described by a symbiotic nova progenitor, similar to RS Ophiuchi.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Paper
Horesh, A.0000-0002-5936-1156
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Additional Information:© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 16 January 2012; accepted for publication 5 July 2012. The Palomar Transient Factory project is a scientific collaboration between the California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Las Cumbres Observatory, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, the University of Oxford, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy, provided staff, computational resources, and data storage for this project. 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 NASA; the observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very important cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. We are grateful to the staffs of the Lick, Keck, and other observatories for their assistance. We thank D. Kasen for insightful discussions on the analysis presented here, and we thank M. Auger for assistance in using his spectroscopic reduction pipeline. The research of A.V.F.’s group was supported by grants from the NSF, the TABASGO Foundation, Gary and Cynthia Bengier, and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund. M.M.K. acknowledges generous support from the Hubble Fellowship and Carnegie-Princeton Fellowship. A.G.-Y. is supported by grants from the Israel Science Foundation and the U.S.-Israel Binational Foundation, an Award for Research Cooperation and High Excellence in Science from the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, and the Lord Seiff of Brimpton Fund. The data presented in this paper are available from the Weizmann Interactive Supernova Data Repository (
Group:Palomar Transient Factory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Energy Research Scientific Computing CenterUNSPECIFIED
Gary and Cynthia BengierUNSPECIFIED
Richard and Rhoda Goldman FundUNSPECIFIED
Carnegie-Princeton FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Binational Science Foundation (USA-Israel)UNSPECIFIED
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6097
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120913-113255775
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34066
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 20:52
Last Modified:20 Nov 2019 21:36

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