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The Type IIn Supernova SN 2010bt: The Explosion of a Star in Outburst

Elias-Rosa, Nancy and Van Dyk, Schuyler D. and Benetti, Stefano and Cappellaro, Enrico and Smith, Nathan and Kotak, Rubina and Turatto, Massimo and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Pignata, Giuliano and Fox, Ori D. and Galbany, Lluis and González-Gaitán, Santiago and Miluzio, Matteo and Monard, L. A. G. and Ergon, Mattias (2018) The Type IIn Supernova SN 2010bt: The Explosion of a Star in Outburst. Astrophysical Journal, 860 (1). Art. No. 68. ISSN 1538-4357.

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It is well known that massive stars (M > 8 M☉) evolve up to the collapse of the stellar core, resulting in most cases in a supernova (SN) explosion. Their heterogeneity is related mainly to different configurations of the progenitor star at the moment of the explosion and to their immediate environments. We present photometry and spectroscopy of SN 2010bt, which was classified as a Type IIn SN from a spectrum obtained soon after discovery and was observed extensively for about 2 months. After the seasonal interruption owing to its proximity to the Sun, the SN was below the detection threshold, indicative of a rapid luminosity decline. We can identify the likely progenitor with a very luminous star (log L/L☉ ≈ 7) through comparison of Hubble Space Telescope images of the host galaxy prior to explosion with those of the SN obtained after maximum light. Such a luminosity is not expected for a quiescent star, but rather for a massive star in an active phase. This progenitor candidate was later confirmed via images taken in 2015 (~5 yr post-discovery), in which no bright point source was detected at the SN position. Given these results and the SN behavior, we conclude that SN 2010bt was likely a Type IIn SN and that its progenitor was a massive star that experienced an outburst shortly before the final explosion, leading to a dense H-rich circumstellar environment around the SN progenitor.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Elias-Rosa, Nancy0000-0002-1381-9125
Van Dyk, Schuyler D.0000-0001-9038-9950
Benetti, Stefano0000-0002-3256-0016
Cappellaro, Enrico0000-0001-5008-8619
Kotak, Rubina0000-0001-5455-3653
Filippenko, Alexei V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Pignata, Giuliano0000-0003-0006-0188
Fox, Ori D.0000-0003-2238-1572
Galbany, Lluis0000-0002-1296-6887
González-Gaitán, Santiago0000-0001-9541-0317
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2017 September 20; revised 2018 April 25; accepted 2018 May 3; published 2018 June 13. N.E.-R. thanks Avet Harutyunyan for his help and acknowledges the hospitality of the Institut de Ciències de l'Espai at the Autonomous University of Barcelona's Campus, where much of this work was written. Support for this work was provided by NASA/HST through grants GO-11575, GO-13684, GO-14668, and AR-14295 from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by AURA, Inc., under National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contract NAS5-26555. S.B. and M.T. acknowledge partial financial support by the PRIN-INAF 2017 (project "Towards the SKA and CTA Era: Discovery, Localization, and Physics of Transient Sources"). A.V.F. is grateful for generous financial assistance from the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, the TABASGO Foundation, the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (UC Berkeley), and US NSF grant AST-1211916. G.P. acknowledges support provided by the Millennium Institute of Astrophysics (MAS) through grant IC120009 of the Programa Iniciativa Cientíifica Milenio del Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y Turismo de Chile. L.G. was supported in part by NSF grant AST-1311862. N.S. was supported in part by NSF grants AST-1312221 and AST-1515559. This research is based in part 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); the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA (support was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech); the SMARTS Consortium 1.3 m telescope located at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), Chile; and the New Technology Telescope at the European Southern Observatory–La Silla Observatory. Data in this work have been taken in the framework of the European supernova collaboration involved in ESO-NTT large program 184.D-1140 led by Stefano Benetti. Many of the spectra used here for comparison were obtained from the Padova-Asiago Supernova Archive (ASA). This work has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA, and data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by NASA and the NSF. Facilities: Swift - Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission, Spitzer - Spitzer Space Telescope satellite, ING:Kapteyn (JAG) - Isaac Newton Group's Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope, CTIO:1.3m (ANDICAM) - Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory's 1.3 meter Telescope, HST(WFPC2) - Hubble Space Telescope satellite, ACS - , WFC3 - , ESO:3.6m (EFOSC2 - , SOFI) - , Magellan:Clay (LDSS-3) - Magellan II Landon Clay Telescope, VLT:Yepun (HAWK-I) - Very Large Telescope (Yepun). Software: IRAF (Tody 1986, 1993), SNOoPy (, SExtractor (Bertin & Arnouts 1996), HOTPANTS (Becker 2015), Dolphot (Dolphin 2000), GELATO (, MOPEX (
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
Miller Institute for Basic Research in ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Iniciativa Científica Milenio del Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y TurismoIC120009
Subject Keywords:galaxies: individual (NGC 7130) – stars: evolution – supernovae: general – supernovae: individual (SN 2010bt)
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180613-101558959
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Nancy Elias-Rosa et al 2018 ApJ 860 68
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87058
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Jun 2018 17:59
Last Modified:19 Nov 2019 23:12

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