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The UV/optical spectra of the Type Ia supernova SN 2010jn: a bright supernova with outer layers rich in iron-group elements

Hachinger, S. and Mazzali, P. A. and Sullivan, M. and Ellis, R. S. and Maguire, K. and Gal-Yam, A. and Howell, D. A. and Nugent, P. E. and Baron, E. and Cooke, J. and Arcavi, I. and Bersier, D. and Dilday, B. and James, P. A. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Ofek, E. O. and Laher, R. R. and Parrent, J. and Surace, J. and Yaron, O. and Walker, E. S. (2013) The UV/optical spectra of the Type Ia supernova SN 2010jn: a bright supernova with outer layers rich in iron-group elements. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 429 (3). pp. 2228-2248. ISSN 0035-8711.

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Radiative transfer studies of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) hold the promise of constraining both the density profile of the SN ejecta and its stratification by element abundance which, in turn, may discriminate between different explosion mechanisms and progenitor classes. Here we analyse the Type Ia SN 2010jn (PTF10ygu) in detail, presenting and evaluating near-ultraviolet (near-UV) spectra from the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based optical spectra and light curves. SN 2010jn was discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) 15 d before maximum light, allowing us to secure a time series of four near-UV spectra at epochs from −10.5 to +4.8 d relative to B-band maximum. The photospheric near-UV spectra are excellent diagnostics of the iron-group abundances in the outer layers of the ejecta, particularly those at very early times. Using the method of ‘Abundance Tomography’ we derive iron-group abundances in SN 2010jn with a precision better than in any previously studied SN Ia. Optimum fits to the data can be obtained if burned material is present even at high velocities, including significant mass fractions of iron-group elements. This is consistent with the slow decline rate (or high ‘stretch’) of the light curve of SN 2010jn, and consistent with the results of delayed-detonation models. Early-phase UV spectra and detailed time-dependent series of further SNe Ia offer a promising probe of the nature of the SN Ia mechanism.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Mazzali, P. A.0000-0001-6876-8284
Sullivan, M.0000-0001-9053-4820
Ellis, R. S.0000-0001-7782-7071
Maguire, K.0000-0002-9770-3508
Gal-Yam, A.0000-0002-3653-5598
Howell, D. A.0000-0003-4253-656X
Nugent, P. E.0000-0002-3389-0586
Cooke, J.0000-0001-5703-2108
Arcavi, I.0000-0001-7090-4898
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Ofek, E. O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Laher, R. R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Surace, J.0000-0001-7291-0087
Yaron, O.0000-0002-0301-8017
Additional Information:© 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. First published online: January 9, 2013. Accepted 2012 November 26. Received 2012 November 26; in original form 2012 August 6. This work has been made possible by the participation of more than 10 000 volunteers in the ‘Galaxy Zoo Supernovae’ project, It is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA HST, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. The observations are associated with programme 12298. PAM and SH acknowledge support by the programme ASI-INAF I/009/10/0. MS acknowledges support from the Royal Society, and AG acknowledges support by the ISF, a Minerva ARCHES award, and the Lord Sieff of Brimpton Fund. MMK acknowledges generous support from the Hubble Fellowship and the Carnegie-Princeton Fellowship. We have used observations from the LT, 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 Astrofísica de Canarias with financial support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. Spectroscopic observations in the optical have been taken at the Gemini Observatory under programme ID GN-2010B-Q-13, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnología e Inovação (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovaciόn Productiva (Argentina). Finally, an optical spectrum has been taken at the WHT, operated on the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrof´ısica de Canarias. We have used data from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED;, operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). For data handling, we have made use of various software (as mentioned in the text) including IRAF. IRAF – Image Reduction and Analysis Facility ( – is an astronomical data reduction software distributed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO; operated by AURA, Inc., under contract with the National Science Foundation).
Group:Palomar Transient Factory, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)I/009/10/0
Carnegie-Princeton FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
National Research Council of CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)UNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Ministério da Ciência,Tecnología e InovaçãoUNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovaciόn ProductivaUNSPECIFIED
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Lord Sieff of Brimpton FundUNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:radiative transfer techniques: spectroscopic supernovae: general super-novae: individual: SN 2010jn
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130625-091333437
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:S. Hachinger, P. A. Mazzali, M. Sullivan, R. S. Ellis, K. Maguire, A. Gal-Yam, D. A. Howell, P. E. Nugent, E. Baron, J. Cooke, I. Arcavi, D. Bersier, B. Dilday, P. A. James, M. M. Kasliwal, S. R. Kulkarni, E. O. Ofek, R. R. Laher, J. Parrent, J. Surace, O. Yaron, and E. S. Walker The UV/optical spectra of the Type Ia supernova SN 2010jn: a bright supernova with outer layers rich in iron-group elements MNRAS (March 1, 2013) Vol. 429 2228-2248 first published online January 9, 2013 doi:10.1093/mnras/sts492
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39067
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:25 Jun 2013 17:12
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 05:19

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