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SPIRITS 16tn in NGC 3556: A heavily obscured and low-luminosity supernova at 8.8 Mpc

Jencson, Jacob E. and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Adams, Scott M. and Bond, Howard E. and Lau, Ryan M. and Johansson, Joel and Horesh, Assaf and Mooley, Kunal P. and Fender, Robert and De, Kishalay and O'Sullivan, Dónal and Masci, Frank J. and Cody, Ann Marie and Blagorodnova, Nadia and Fox, Ori D. and Gehrz, Robert D. and Milne, Peter A. and Perley, Daniel A. and Smith, Nathan and Van Dyk, Schuyler D. (2018) SPIRITS 16tn in NGC 3556: A heavily obscured and low-luminosity supernova at 8.8 Mpc. Astrophysical Journal, 863 (1). Art. No. 20. ISSN 1538-4357.

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We present the discovery by the SPitzer InfraRed Intensive Transients Survey (SPIRITS) of a likely supernova (SN) in NGC 3556 (M108) at only 8.8 Mpc that was not detected by optical searches. A luminous infrared (IR) transient at M_([4.5]) = −16.7 mag (Vega), SPIRITS 16tn is coincident with a dust lane in the inclined, star-forming disk of the host. Using observations in the IR, optical, and radio, we attempt to determine the nature of this event. We estimate A_V ≈ 8–9 mag of extinction, placing it among the three most highly obscured IR-discovered SNe. The [4.5] light curve declined at a rate of 0.013 mag day^(−1), and the [3.6]–[4.5] color increased from 0.7 to ≳ 1.0 mag by 184.7 days post discovery. Optical/IR spectroscopy shows a red continuum but no clearly discernible features, preventing a definitive spectroscopic classification. Radio observations constrain the radio luminosity of SPIRITS 16tn to L_ν ≾ 10^(24) erg s^(−1) Hz^(−1) between 3 and 15 GHz, excluding many varieties of core-collapse SNe. An SN Ia is ruled out by the observed IR color and lack of spectroscopic features from Fe-peak elements. SPIRITS 16tn was fainter at [4.5] than typical stripped-envelope SNe by ≈1 mag. Comparison of the spectral energy distribution to SNe II suggests that SPIRITS 16tn was both highly obscured and intrinsically dim, possibly akin to the low-luminosity SN 2005cs. We infer the presence of an IR dust echo powered by an initial peak luminosity of the transient of 5 × 10^(40) erg s^(−1) ≾ L_(peak) ≾ 4 × 10^(43) erg s^(−1), consistent with the observed range for SNe II. This discovery illustrates the power of IR surveys to overcome the compounding effects of visible extinction and optically subluminous events in completing the inventory of nearby SNe.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Jencson, Jacob E.0000-0001-5754-4007
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Adams, Scott M.0000-0001-5855-5939
Bond, Howard E.0000-0003-1377-7145
Johansson, Joel0000-0001-5975-290X
Horesh, Assaf0000-0002-5936-1156
Mooley, Kunal P.0000-0002-2557-5180
De, Kishalay0000-0002-8989-0542
O'Sullivan, Dónal0000-0002-4959-9179
Masci, Frank J.0000-0002-8532-9395
Cody, Ann Marie0000-0002-3656-6706
Blagorodnova, Nadia0000-0003-0901-1606
Fox, Ori D.0000-0003-2238-1572
Gehrz, Robert D.0000-0003-1319-4089
Milne, Peter A.0000-0002-0370-157X
Perley, Daniel A.0000-0001-8472-1996
Van Dyk, Schuyler D.0000-0001-9038-9950
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 February 24; revised 2018 June 13; accepted 2018 June 25; published 2018 August 7. We thank R. Lunnan for executing our Keck/LRIS observations. We thank D. Neill and M. Matuszewski for assistance with the PCWI observations and data reduction. We thank A. Monson for help with P200/WIRC data reduction. We thank T. Cantwell, Y. Perrott, and the AMI staff for conducting the AMI-LA observations and data reduction. We also thank the anonymous referee for suggestions that improved the paper. This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant no. DGE-1144469. H.E.B. acknowledges support for this work provided by NASA through grants GO-13935 and GO-14258 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. R.D.G. was supported in part by the United States Air Force. A.H. acknowledges support by the I-Core Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Israel Science Foundation. 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. The work is based, in part, on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated by the Nordic Optical Telescope Scientific Association at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. This work is based in part on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute and from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes at STScI, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. These observations are associated with programs GO-14258 and SNAP-5446. 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 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 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 Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. RATIR is a collaboration between the University of California, the Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Arizona State University, benefiting from the loan of an H2RG detector from Teledyne Scientific and Imaging. RATIR, the automation of the Harold L. Johnson Telescope of the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional on Sierra San Pedro Maŕtir, and the operation of both are funded by the partner institutions and through NASA grants NNX09AH71G, NNX09AT02G, NNX10AI27G, and NNX12AE66G; CONACyT grant INFR-2009-01-122785; UNAM PAPIIT grant IN113810; and a UC MEXUS-CONACyT grant. UKIRT is owned by the University of Hawaii (UH) and operated by the UH Institute for Astronomy; operations are enabled through the cooperation of the East Asian Observatory. When the data reported here were acquired, UKIRT was supported by NASA and operated under an agreement among the University of Hawaii, the University of Arizona, and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center; operations were enabled through the cooperation of the East Asian Observatory. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory acquired through the Gemini Observatory Archive and processed using the Gemini IRAF package, 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 National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina), and Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil). The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Legacy Surveys consist of three individual and complementary projects: the Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey (DECaLS; NOAO Proposal ID No. 2014B-0404; PIs: David Schlegel and Arjun Dey), the Beijing-Arizona Sky Survey (BASS; NOAO Proposal ID No. 2015A-0801; PIs: Zhou Xu and Xiaohui Fan), and the Mayall z-band Legacy Survey (MzLS; NOAO Proposal ID No. 2016A-0453; PI: Arjun Dey). DECaLS, BASS, and MzLS together include data obtained, respectively, at the Blanco telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO); the Bok telescope, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona; and the Mayall telescope, Kitt Peak National Observatory, NOAO. The Legacy Surveys project is honored to be permitted to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du'ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O'odham Nation. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The Legacy Survey team makes use of data products from the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), which is a project of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. NEOWISE is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Legacy Surveys imaging of the DESI footprint is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract No. DE-AC02-05CH1123, by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a DOE Office of Science User Facility under the same contract; and by the U.S. National Science Foundation, Division of Astronomical Sciences under contract No. AST-0950945 to NOAO. Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III website is SDSS-III is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS-III Collaboration, including the University of Arizona, the Brazilian Participation Group, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Florida, the French Participation Group, the German Participation Group, Harvard University, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Michigan State/Notre Dame/JINA Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, New Mexico State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the Spanish Participation Group, University of Tokyo, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Yale University. Facilities: Spitzer (IRAC) - , HST (WFPC2 - , WFC3) - , Mayall (CCD Mosaic imager) - , Swift (UVOT) - , Hale (WIRC) - , PO:1.5 m (SEDM) - , Keck:I (LRIS) - , OANSPM:HJT (RATIR) - , UKIRT (WFCAM) - , Gemini:Gillett (GNIRS) - , EVLA - , AMI. -
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
NASANAS 5-26555
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting CommitteeUNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)INFR-2009-01-122785
Programa de Apoyo a Proyectos de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica (PAPIIT)IN113810
National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:dust, extinction – galaxies: individual (NGC 3556) – supernovae: general – supernovae: individual (SPIRITS 16tn) – surveys
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180305-144310779
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Jacob E. Jencson et al 2018 ApJ 863 20
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85107
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:05 Mar 2018 23:36
Last Modified:17 Nov 2020 23:29

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