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Published August 2017 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

The search for failed supernovae with the Large Binocular Telescope: constraints from 7 yr of data


We report updated results for the first 7 yr of our programme to monitor 27 galaxies within 10 Mpc using the Large Binocular Telescope to search for failed supernovae (SNe) – core collapses of massive stars that form black holes without luminous SNe. In the new data, we identify no new compelling candidates and confirm the existing candidate. Given the six successful core-collapse SNe in the sample and one likely failed SN, the implied fraction of core collapses that result in failed SNe is f=0.14^(+0.33)_(−0.10) at 90 per cent confidence. If the current candidate is a failed SN, the fraction of failed SN naturally explains the missing high-mass red supergiants SN progenitors and the black hole mass function. If the current candidate is ultimately rejected, the data imply a 90 per cent confidence upper limit on the failed SN fraction of f < 0.35.

Additional Information

© 2017 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2017 April 10. Received 2017 April 10; in original form 2016 October 7. Published: 12 April 2017. We thank Adam Leroy for early access to his proprietary HST imaging. Financial support for this work was provided by NSF through grant AST-1515876. This work is based on observations made with the Large Binocular Telescope. 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, the University of Minnesota and the University of Virginia. This work also utilized observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

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Published - stx898.pdf


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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023