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Supernovae with Two Peaks in the Optical Light Curve and the Signature of Progenitors with Low-mass Extended Envelopes

Nakar, Ehud and Piro, Anthony L. (2014) Supernovae with Two Peaks in the Optical Light Curve and the Signature of Progenitors with Low-mass Extended Envelopes. Astrophysical Journal, 788 (2). Art. No. 193. ISSN 0004-637X.

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Early observations of supernova light curves are powerful tools for shedding light on the pre-explosion structures of their progenitors and their mass-loss histories just prior to explosion. Some core-collapse supernovae that are detected during the first days after the explosion prominently show two peaks in the optical bands, including the R and I bands, where the first peak appears to be powered by the cooling of shocked surface material and the second peak is clearly powered by radioactive decay. Such light curves have been explored in detail theoretically for SN 1993J and 2011dh, where it was found that they may be explained by progenitors with extended, low-mass envelopes. Here, we generalize these results. We first explore whether any double-peaked light curve of this type can be generated by a progenitor with a "standard" density profile, such as a red supergiant or a Wolf-Rayet star. We show that a standard progenitor (1) cannot produce a double-peaked light curve in the R and I bands and (2) cannot exhibit a fast drop in the bolometric luminosity as is seen after the first peak. We then explore the signature of a progenitor with a compact core surrounded by extended, low-mass material. This may be a hydrostatic low-mass envelope or material ejected just prior to the explosion. We show that it naturally produces both of these features. We use this result to provide simple formulae to estimate (1) the mass of the extended material from the time of the first peak, (2) the extended material radius from the luminosity of the first peak, and (3) an upper limit on the core radius from the luminosity minimum between the two peaks.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Nakar, Ehud0000-0002-4534-7089
Piro, Anthony L.0000-0001-6806-0673
Alternate Title:Double-peaked Supernovae and the Signature of Progenitors with Low-mass Extended Envelopes
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 January 16; accepted 2014 May 8; published 2014 June 6. We thank A. Gal-Yam, D. Maoz, E. Ofek, C. Ott, and D. Poznanski for helpful comments. E.N. was partially supported by an ERC starting grant (GRB-SN 279369) and by the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and The Israel Science Foundation (1829/12). A.L.P. is supported through NSF grants AST-1205732, PHY-1068881, and PHY-1151197 and the Sherman Fairchild Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)GRB-SN 279369
I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting CommitteeUNSPECIFIED
Israel Science Foundation1829/12
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:supernovae: general; supernovae: individual (SN 1993J, SN 2011dh, SN 2006aj)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140717-145235572
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Official Citation:Supernovae with Two Peaks in the Optical Light Curve and the Signature of Progenitors with Low-mass Extended Envelopes Ehud Nakar and Anthony L. Piro 2014 ApJ 788 193
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47304
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 Jul 2014 19:30
Last Modified:19 Nov 2019 05:04

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