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Hubble Space Telescope spectra of the Type Ia supernova SN 2011fe: a tail of low-density, high-velocity material with Z < Z_⊙

Mazzali, P. A. and Sullivan, M. and Hachinger, S. and Ellis, R. S. and Nugent, P. E. and Howell, D. A. and Gal-Yam, A. and Maguire, K. and Cooke, J. and Thomas, R. and Nomoto, K. and Walker, E. S. (2014) Hubble Space Telescope spectra of the Type Ia supernova SN 2011fe: a tail of low-density, high-velocity material with Z < Z_⊙. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 439 (2). pp. 1959-1979. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stu077.

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Hubble Space Telescope spectroscopic observations of the nearby Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) SN 2011fe, taken on 10 epochs from −13.1 to +40.8 d relative to B-band maximum light, and spanning the far-ultraviolet (UV) to the near-infrared (IR) are presented. This spectroscopic coverage makes SN 2011fe the best-studied local SN Ia to date. SN 2011fe is a typical moderately luminous SN Ia with no evidence for dust extinction. Its near-UV spectral properties are representative of a larger sample of local events (Maguire et al.). The near-UV to optical spectra of SN 2011fe are modelled with a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code using the technique of ‘abundance tomography’, constraining the density structure and the abundance stratification in the SN ejecta. SN 2011fe was a relatively weak explosion, with moderate Fe-group yields. The density structures of the classical model W7 and of a delayed detonation model were tested. Both have shortcomings. An ad hoc density distribution was developed which yields improved fits and is characterized by a high-velocity tail, which is absent in W7. However, this tail contains less mass than delayed detonation models. This improved model has a lower energy than one-dimensional explosion models matching typical SNe Ia (e.g. W7, WDD1; Iwamoto et al.). The derived Fe abundance in the outermost layer is consistent with the metallicity at the SN explosion site in M101 (∼0.5 Z_⊙). The spectroscopic rise-time (∼19 d) is significantly longer than that measured from the early optical light curve, implying a ‘dark phase’ of ∼1 d. A longer rise-time has significant implications when deducing the properties of the white dwarf and binary system from the early photometric behaviour.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Mazzali, P. A.0000-0001-6876-8284
Sullivan, M.0000-0001-9053-4820
Ellis, R. S.0000-0001-7782-7071
Nugent, P. E.0000-0002-3389-0586
Howell, D. A.0000-0003-4253-656X
Gal-Yam, A.0000-0002-3653-5598
Maguire, K.0000-0002-9770-3508
Cooke, J.0000-0001-5703-2108
Nomoto, K.0000-0001-9553-0685
Additional Information:© 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. First published online: February 17, 2014. Accepted 2014 January 12. Received 2014 January 10; in original form 2013 May 10. This work 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. These observations are associated with programme #12298. Based on observations made with the Italian TNG operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundaciόn Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. We would like to thank the TNG staff for their support. PAM and SH acknowledge support from the Italian Space Agency under programme ASI/INAF I/009/10/0, and SH acknowledges further support from the Minerva foundation (ARCHES award). MS acknowledges support from the Royal Society. Research by AG is supported by grants from the BSF, the EU via an FP7/ERC grant, the ARCHES prize and the Kimmel Award for Innovative Investigation. Collaborative work between AG and PAM is supported by the Minerva foundation. We have made use of 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).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)I/009/10/0
Minerva FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Binational Science Foundation (USA-Israel)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: radiative transfer techniques: spectroscopic supernovae: general supernovae: individual: SN 2011fe
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140530-143119061
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Official Citation:P. A. Mazzali, M. Sullivan, S. Hachinger, R. S. Ellis, P. E. Nugent, D. A. Howell, A. Gal-Yam, K. Maguire, J. Cooke, R. Thomas, K. Nomoto, and E. S. Walker Hubble Space Telescope spectra of the Type Ia supernova SN 2011fe: a tail of low-density, high-velocity material with Z < Z⊙ MNRAS (April 01, 2014) Vol. 439 1959-1979 first published online February 17, 2014 doi:10.1093/mnras/stu077
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46017
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:30 May 2014 22:22
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:19

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