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Published October 1, 2016 | Published
Journal Article Open

Numerical Modeling of the Early Light Curves of Type IIP Supernovae


The early rise of Type IIP supernovae (SN IIP) provides important information for constraining the properties of their progenitors. This can, in turn, be compared to pre-explosion imaging constraints and stellar models to develop a more complete picture of how massive stars evolve and end their lives. Using the SuperNova Explosion Code (SNEC), we model the first 40 days of SNe IIP to better understand what constraints can be derived from their early light curves. We use two sets of red supergiant (RSG) progenitor models with zero-age main sequence masses in the range between 9 M⊙ and 20 M⊙. We find that the early properties of the light curve depend most sensitively on the radius of the progenitor, and thus provide a relation between the g-band rise time and the radius at the time of explosion. This relation will be useful for deriving constraints on progenitors from future observations, especially in cases where detailed modeling of the entire rise is not practical. When comparing to observed rise times, the radii we find are a factor of a few larger than previous semi-analytic derivations and are generally in better agreement with what is found with current stellar evolution calculations as well as direct observations of RSGs.

Additional Information

© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 March 28; revised 2016 July 25; accepted 2016 July 25; published 2016 September 28. We would like to thank our referee, S. González-Gaitán, for valuable comments,which helped to improve the quality of our paper. We acknowledge helpful discussions with and feedback from D. Clausen, L. Dessart, R.J. Foley, S.R. Kulkarni, K. Maeda, O. Pejcha, R. Sari, D. Radice, B.J. Shappee, and T. Sukhbold. We thank T. Sukhbold for providing us with the pre-collapse stellar evolution models from KEPLER. We thank Ehud Nakar for helpful feedback on our paper and also for sharing a nearly complete draft of his own work (Shussman et al. 2016). SNEC and the light curves presented here are available from https://stellarcollapse.org/Morozova2016. This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under award Nos. AST-1205732 and AST-1212170, by Caltech, by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, and by the International Research Unit of Advanced Future Studies, Kyoto University. The computations were performed on the Caltech compute cluster Zwicky (NSF MRI-R2 award No. PHY-0960291), on the NSF XSEDE network under allocation TG-PHY100033, and on NSF/NCSA Blue Waters under NSF PRAC award no. ACI-1440083. This paper has been assigned Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics report number YITP-16-32.

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