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An outburst from a massive star 40 days before a supernova explosion

Ofek, E. O. and Sullivan, M. and Cenko, S. B. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Gal-Yam, A. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Arcavi, I. and Bildsten, L. and Bloom, J. S. and Horesh, A. and Howell, D. A. and Filippenko, A. V. and Laher, R. and Murray, D. and Nakar, E. and Nugent, P. E. and Silverman, J. M. and Shaviv, N. J. and Surace, J. and Yaron, O. (2013) An outburst from a massive star 40 days before a supernova explosion. Nature, 494 (7435). pp. 65-67. ISSN 0028-0836.

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Some observations suggest that very massive stars experience extreme mass-loss episodes shortly before they explode as supernovae, as do several models. Establishing a causal connection between these mass-loss episodes and the final explosion would provide a novel way to study pre-supernova massive-star evolution. Here we report observations of a mass-loss event detected 40 days before the explosion of the type IIn supernova SN 2010mc (also known as PTF 10tel). Our photometric and spectroscopic data suggest that this event is a result of an energetic outburst, radiating at least 6 × 10^(47) erg of energy and releasing about 10^(−2) solar masses of material at typical velocities of 2,000 km s^(−1). The temporal proximity of the mass-loss outburst and the supernova explosion implies a causal connection between them. Moreover, we find that the outburst luminosity and velocity are consistent with the predictions of the wave-driven pulsation model, and disfavour alternative suggestions.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Paper
Ofek, E. O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Sullivan, M.0000-0001-9053-4820
Cenko, S. B.0000-0003-1673-970X
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Gal-Yam, A.0000-0002-3653-5598
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Arcavi, I.0000-0001-7090-4898
Bloom, J. S.0000-0002-7777-216X
Horesh, A.0000-0002-5936-1156
Howell, D. A.0000-0003-4253-656X
Filippenko, A. V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Laher, R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Nakar, E.0000-0002-4534-7089
Nugent, P. E.0000-0002-3389-0586
Silverman, J. M.0000-0003-3325-3365
Surace, J.0000-0001-7291-0087
Yaron, O.0000-0002-0301-8017
Additional Information:© 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 14 October; accepted 18 December 2012. We thank E. Quataert and M. Cantiello for discussions. The VLA is operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a facility of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. This paper is based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope as part of the Palomar Transient Factory project. We are grateful for the assistance of the staff at the various observatories where data were obtained. We acknowledge support from the Arye Dissentshik career development chair, the Helen Kimmel Center for Planetary Science, the Israeli Ministry of Science, the Royal Society, the NSF, the Israeli Science Foundation, the German-Israeli Foundation, ERC, the US Department of Energy, Gary and Cynthia Bengier, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, and the TABASGO Foundation. Author Contributions: E.O.O. initiated the search for precursor outbursts and wrote the paper, M.S. wrote the image-subtraction pipeline, S.B.C. reduced the Swift-UVOT observations,M.M.K. reduced the P60 observations, A.G.-Y. helped with the spectroscopic analysis, L.B., E.N. and N.J.S. contributed to the theoretical interpretation, A.V.F. assisted with the spectroscopy and edited the paper, D.A.H., D.M. and J.M.S. conducted the spectroscopic observations or reductions, O.Y. helped write the paper, and S.R.K., I.A., J.S.B., R.L., P.E.N. and J.S. built the PTF hardware and software infrastructure.
Group:Palomar Transient Factory, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Arye Dissentshik career development chairUNSPECIFIED
Helen Kimmel Center for Planetary ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Science (Israel)UNSPECIFIED
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
German-Israeli Foundation for Research and DevelopmentUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Gary and Cynthia BengierUNSPECIFIED
Richard and Rhoda Goldman FundUNSPECIFIED
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:High-energy astrophysics; Stars
Issue or Number:7435
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130307-133705176
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37378
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:07 Mar 2013 22:42
Last Modified:20 Nov 2019 20:09

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