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Precursors Prior to Type IIn Supernova Explosions are Common: Precursor Rates, Properties, and Correlations

Ofek, Eran O. and Sullivan, Mark and Shaviv, Nir J. and Steinbok, Aviram and Arcavi, Iair and Gal-Yam, Avishay and Tal, David and Kulkarni, Shrinivas R. and Nugent, Peter E. and Ben-Ami, Sagi and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Cenko, S. Bradley and Laher, Russ and Surace, Jason and Bloom, Joshua S. and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Silverman, Jeffrey M. and Yaron, Ofer (2014) Precursors Prior to Type IIn Supernova Explosions are Common: Precursor Rates, Properties, and Correlations. Astrophysical Journal, 789 (2). Art. No. 104. ISSN 0004-637X.

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There is a growing number of Type IIn supernovae (SNe) which present an outburst prior to their presumably final explosion. These precursors may affect the SN display, and are likely related to poorly charted phenomena in the final stages of stellar evolution. By coadding Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) images taken prior to the explosion, here we present a search for precursors in a sample of 16 Type IIn SNe. We find five SNe IIn that likely have at least one possible precursor event (PTF 10bjb, SN 2010mc, PTF 10weh, SN 2011ht, and PTF 12cxj), three of which are reported here for the first time. For each SN we calculate the control time. We find that precursor events among SNe IIn are common: at the one-sided 99% confidence level, >50% of SNe IIn have at least one pre-explosion outburst that is brighter than 3 × 10^7 L_☉ taking place up to 1/3 yr prior to the SN explosion. The average rate of such precursor events during the year prior to the SN explosion is likely ≳ 1 yr^(–1), and fainter precursors are possibly even more common. Ignoring the two weakest precursors in our sample, the precursors rate we find is still on the order of one per year. We also find possible correlations between the integrated luminosity of the precursor and the SN total radiated energy, peak luminosity, and rise time. These correlations are expected if the precursors are mass-ejection events, and the early-time light curve of these SNe is powered by interaction of the SN shock and ejecta with optically thick circumstellar material.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ofek, Eran O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Sullivan, Mark0000-0001-9053-4820
Arcavi, Iair0000-0001-7090-4898
Gal-Yam, Avishay0000-0002-3653-5598
Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Nugent, Peter E.0000-0002-3389-0586
Ben-Ami, Sagi0000-0001-6760-3074
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Cenko, S. Bradley0000-0003-1673-970X
Laher, Russ0000-0003-2451-5482
Surace, Jason0000-0001-7291-0087
Bloom, Joshua S.0000-0002-7777-216X
Filippenko, Alexei V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Silverman, Jeffrey M.0000-0003-3325-3365
Yaron, Ofer0000-0002-0301-8017
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 January 21; accepted 2014 May 22; published 2014 June 19. E.O.O. thanks Orly Gnat and Ehud Nakar for many discussions. This paper is based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope as part of the Palomar Transient Factory project, 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. 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. We are grateful for excellent staff assistance at Palomar, Lick, and Keck Observatories. E.O.O. is incumbent of the Arye Dissentshik career development chair and is grateful for support by a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science, ISF, Minerva, Weizmann-UK and the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and The Israel Science Foundation (grant no 1829/12). A.V.F.’s group at UC Berkeley has received generous financial assistance from Gary and Cynthia Bengier, the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the TABASGO Foundation, and NSF grant AST-1211916.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Palomar Transient Factory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Science (Israel)UNSPECIFIED
I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting CommitteeUNSPECIFIED
Israel Science Foundation1829/12
Gary and Cynthia BengierUNSPECIFIED
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
Richard and Rhoda Goldman FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: mass-loss; supernovae: general; supernovae: individual (SN 2010mc, PTF 10bjb, SN 2011ht, PTF 10weh, PTF 12cxj, SN 2009ip)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140807-120341972
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Official Citation:Precursors Prior to Type IIn Supernova Explosions are Common: Precursor Rates, Properties, and Correlations Eran O. Ofek et al. 2014 ApJ 789 104
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48181
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:07 Aug 2014 20:05
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 06:00

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