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Deep Late-Time Observations of the Supernova Impostors SN 1954J and SN 1961V

Patton, Rachel A. and Kochanek, C. S. and Adams, S. M. (2019) Deep Late-Time Observations of the Supernova Impostors SN 1954J and SN 1961V. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 489 (2). pp. 1986-1994. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2282.

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SN 1954J in NGC 2403 and SN 1961V in NGC 1058 were two luminous transients whose definitive classification as either non-terminal eruptions or supernovae remains elusive. A critical question is whether a surviving star can be significantly obscured by dust formed from material ejected during the transient. We use three lines of argument to show that the candidate surviving stars are not significantly optically extinct (τ ≲ 1) by dust formed in the transients. First, we use SED fits to new HST optical and near-IR photometry. Secondly, neither source is becoming brighter as required by absorption from an expanding shell of ejected material. Thirdly, the ejecta masses implied by the Hα luminosities are too low to produce significant dust absorption. The latter two arguments hold independent of the dust properties. The Hα fluxes should also be declining with time as t⁻³, and this seems not to be observed. As a result, it seems unlikely that recently formed dust can be responsible for the present faintness of the sources compared to their progenitors, although this can be verified with the James Webb Space Telescope. This leaves three possibilities: (1) the survivors were misidentified; (2) they are intrinsically less luminous; (3) SN 1954J and SN 1961V were true supernovae.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kochanek, C. S.0000-0001-6017-2961
Adams, S. M.0000-0001-5855-5939
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2019 August 14. Received 2019 August 13; in original form 2018 November 16. Published: 19 August 2019. RAP would like to thank B. Shappee for his guidance in setting up the photometry and K.Z. Stanek for confirming the infrared contamination of star 7. CSK is supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants AST-1515876, AST-1515927, and AST-1814440. This work is based in part on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope under program HST-GO-13477, and obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive, which is a collaboration between the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI/VASA), 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 Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. The LBT Corporation partners are the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system,; the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; the LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; the Ohio State University; and the Research Corporation, on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:supernovae: general – supernovae: individual: SN 1954J, SN 1961V
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190620-153515009
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Official Citation:Rachel A Patton, C S Kochanek, S M Adams, Deep late-time observations of the supernova impostors SN 1954J and SN 1961V, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 489, Issue 2, October 2019, Pages 1986–1994,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96608
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Jun 2019 22:47
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:22

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