A Caltech Library Service

Host-Galaxy Properties of 32 Low-Redshift Superluminous Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory

Perley, D. A. and Quimby, R. M. and Yang, L. and Vreeswijk, P. M. and De Cia, A. and Lunnan, R. and Gal-Yam, A. and Yaron, O. and Filippenko, A. V. and Graham, M. L. and Laher, R. and Nugent, P. E. (2016) Host-Galaxy Properties of 32 Low-Redshift Superluminous Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory. Astrophysical Journal, 830 (1). Art. No. 13. ISSN 0004-637X.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present ultraviolet through near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of the host galaxies of all superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory prior to 2013 and derive measurements of their luminosities, star formation rates, stellar masses, and gas-phase metallicities. We find that Type I (hydrogen-poor) SLSNe (SLSNe I) are found almost exclusively in low-mass (M_* < 2 x 10^9 M_⊙) and metal-poor (12 + log_(10)[O/H] < 8.4) galaxies. We compare the mass and metallicity distributions of our sample to nearby galaxy catalogs in detail and conclude that the rate of SLSNe I as a fraction of all SNe is heavily suppressed in galaxies with metallicities ≳0.5 Z_⊙. Extremely low metallicities are not required and indeed provide no further increase in the relative SLSN rate. Several SLSN I hosts are undergoing vigorous starbursts, but this may simply be a side effect of metallicity dependence: dwarf galaxies tend to have bursty star formation histories. Type II (hydrogen-rich) SLSNe (SLSNe II) are found over the entire range of galaxy masses and metallicities, and their integrated properties do not suggest a strong preference for (or against) low-mass/low-metallicity galaxies. Two hosts exhibit unusual properties: PTF 10uhf is an SLSN I in a massive, luminous infrared galaxy at redshift z = 0.29, while PTF 10tpz is an SLSN II located in the nucleus of an early-type host at z = 0.04.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Perley, D. A.0000-0001-8472-1996
Quimby, R. M.0000-0001-9171-5236
Vreeswijk, P. M.0000-0002-7572-9088
De Cia, A.0000-0003-2082-1626
Lunnan, R.0000-0001-9454-4639
Gal-Yam, A.0000-0002-3653-5598
Yaron, O.0000-0002-0301-8017
Filippenko, A. V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Graham, M. L.0000-0002-9154-3136
Laher, R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Nugent, P. E.0000-0002-3389-0586
Additional Information:© 2016 American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 April 27; revised 2016 July 13; accepted 2016 July 19; published 2016 October 3. We thank the anonymous referee for a careful reading of the submitted paper and for providing valuable comments. D.A.P. acknowledges support from a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship within the Horizon 2020 European Union (EU) Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (H2020-MSCA-IF-2014-660113). Support for this work was also provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through an award issued by JPL/Caltech, and through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF-51296.01-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555. The Dark Cosmology Centre has been funded by the DNRF. D.A.P. thanks the Aspen Center for Physics for its hospitality and for enabling productive discussion of SLSN models and optical surveys during summer programs in 2014 ("Fast & Furious") and 2015 ("The Dynamic Universe") and particularly acknowledges R. Chornock's useful presentation on SLSN diversity. A.V.F. also thanks the Aspen Center for its hospitality during programs in 2014 and 2016 ("Emergence, Evolution, and Effects of Black Holes in the Universe"). Participation in these programs was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant No. PHYS-1066293. D.A.P. acknowledges useful discussions about dwarf-galaxy star formation histories and surveys with A. Wetzel and dwarf-galaxy stellar populations with D. Baade, on SLSN hosts with T. Chen, on metallicity determinations with M. Modjaz, and extensive input from G. Leloudas. We acknowledge useful feedback on the paper from D. A. Kann and D. Cook. We thank Y. Cao, S. Kulkarni, and M. Kasliwal for some observations. We also thank the entire PTF collaboration for their input in building this successful survey, including J. Bloom for developing and implementing the machine-learning techniques used to identify transients. A.G.Y. is supported by the EU/FP7 via ERC grant no. 307260, "The Quantum Universe" I-Core program by the Israeli Committee for planning and budgeting and the ISF; by Minerva and ISF grants; by the Weizmann-UK "making connections" program; and by Kimmel and YeS awards. A.V.F. is grateful for financial assistance from NSF grant AST-1211916, the TABASGO Foundation, Gary and Cynthia Bengier, the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, and NASA/HST grants AR-12850 and AR-14295 from STScI. 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. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. KAIT and its ongoing operation were made possible by donations from Sun Microsystems, Inc., the Hewlett-Packard Company, AutoScope Corporation, Lick Observatory, the NSF, the University of California, the Sylvia & Jim Katzman Foundation, and the TABASGO Foundation. Research at Lick Observatory is partially supported by a generous gift from Google. This paper also includes data based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive, which is a collaboration between STScI/NASA, the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF/ESA), and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC/NRC/CSA). This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. We also use data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California at Los Angeles and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by NASA.
Group:Palomar Transient Factory, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Marie Curie FellowshipH2020-MSCA-IF-2014-660113
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF-51296.01-A
NASANAS 5-26555
Danish National Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)307260
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gary and Cynthia BengierUNSPECIFIED
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Sun Microsystems, Inc.UNSPECIFIED
Hewlett-Packard CompanyUNSPECIFIED
AutoScope CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Lick ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Sylvia and Jim Katzman FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: abundances; galaxies: dwarf; galaxies: photometry; supernovae: general
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161003-095119926
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:D. A. Perley et al 2016 ApJ 830 13
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:70750
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:03 Oct 2016 21:02
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page