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Superluminous supernovae from PESSTO

Superluminous supernovae from PESSTO
Superluminous supernovae from PESSTO
We present optical spectra and light curves for three hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae followed by the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects (PESSTO). Time series spectroscopy from a few days after maximum light to 100 d later shows them to be fairly typical of this class, with spectra dominated by Ca?ii, Mg?ii, Fe?ii, and Si?ii, which evolve slowly over most of the post-peak photospheric phase. We determine bolometric light curves and apply simple fitting tools, based on the diffusion of energy input by magnetar spin-down, 56Ni decay, and collision of the ejecta with an opaque circumstellar shell. We investigate how the heterogeneous light curves of our sample (combined with others from the literature) can help to constrain the possible mechanisms behind these events. We have followed these events to beyond 100–200 d after peak, to disentangle host galaxy light from fading supernova flux and to differentiate between the models, which predict diverse behaviour at this phase. Models powered by radioactivity require unrealistic parameters to reproduce the observed light curves, as found by previous studies. Both magnetar heating and circumstellar interaction still appear to be viable candidates. A large diversity is emerging in observed tail-phase luminosities, with magnetar models failing in some cases to predict the rapid drop in flux. This would suggest either that magnetars are not responsible, or that the X-ray flux from the magnetar wind is not fully trapped. The light curve of one object shows a distinct rebrightening at around 100 d after maximum light. We argue that this could result either from multiple shells of circumstellar material, or from a magnetar ionization front breaking out of the ejecta.
0035-8711
2096-2113
Nicholl, M.
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Smartt, S.J.
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Jerkstrand, A.
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Inserra, C.
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Anderson, J.P.
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Baltay, C.
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Benetti, S.
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Chen, T.- W.
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Elias-Rosa, N.
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Feindt, U.
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Fraser, M.
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Gal-Yam, A.
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Hadjiyska, E.
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Howell, D.A.
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Kotak, R.
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Lawrence, A.
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Leloudas, G.
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Margheim, S.
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Mattila, S.
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McCrum, M.
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McKinnon, R.
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Mead, A.
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Nugent, P.
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Rabinowitz, D.
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Rest, A.
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Smith, K.W.
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Sollerman, J.
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Sullivan, M.
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Taddia, F.
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Valenti, S.
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Walker, E.S.
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Young, D.R.
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Nicholl, M.
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Smartt, S.J.
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Jerkstrand, A.
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Inserra, C.
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Anderson, J.P.
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Baltay, C.
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Benetti, S.
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Chen, T.- W.
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Elias-Rosa, N.
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Feindt, U.
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Fraser, M.
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Gal-Yam, A.
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Hadjiyska, E.
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Howell, D.A.
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Kotak, R.
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Lawrence, A.
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Leloudas, G.
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Margheim, S.
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Mattila, S.
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McCrum, M.
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McKinnon, R.
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Mead, A.
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Nugent, P.
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Rabinowitz, D.
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Rest, A.
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Smith, K.W.
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Sollerman, J.
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Sullivan, M.
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Taddia, F.
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Valenti, S.
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Walker, E.S.
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Young, D.R.
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Nicholl, M., Smartt, S.J., Jerkstrand, A., Inserra, C., Anderson, J.P., Baltay, C., Benetti, S., Chen, T.- W., Elias-Rosa, N., Feindt, U., Fraser, M., Gal-Yam, A., Hadjiyska, E., Howell, D.A., Kotak, R., Lawrence, A., Leloudas, G., Margheim, S., Mattila, S., McCrum, M., McKinnon, R., Mead, A., Nugent, P., Rabinowitz, D., Rest, A., Smith, K.W., Sollerman, J., Sullivan, M., Taddia, F., Valenti, S., Walker, E.S. and Young, D.R. (2014) Superluminous supernovae from PESSTO. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 444 (3), 2096-2113. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stu1579).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present optical spectra and light curves for three hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae followed by the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects (PESSTO). Time series spectroscopy from a few days after maximum light to 100 d later shows them to be fairly typical of this class, with spectra dominated by Ca?ii, Mg?ii, Fe?ii, and Si?ii, which evolve slowly over most of the post-peak photospheric phase. We determine bolometric light curves and apply simple fitting tools, based on the diffusion of energy input by magnetar spin-down, 56Ni decay, and collision of the ejecta with an opaque circumstellar shell. We investigate how the heterogeneous light curves of our sample (combined with others from the literature) can help to constrain the possible mechanisms behind these events. We have followed these events to beyond 100–200 d after peak, to disentangle host galaxy light from fading supernova flux and to differentiate between the models, which predict diverse behaviour at this phase. Models powered by radioactivity require unrealistic parameters to reproduce the observed light curves, as found by previous studies. Both magnetar heating and circumstellar interaction still appear to be viable candidates. A large diversity is emerging in observed tail-phase luminosities, with magnetar models failing in some cases to predict the rapid drop in flux. This would suggest either that magnetars are not responsible, or that the X-ray flux from the magnetar wind is not fully trapped. The light curve of one object shows a distinct rebrightening at around 100 d after maximum light. We argue that this could result either from multiple shells of circumstellar material, or from a magnetar ionization front breaking out of the ejecta.

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Accepted/In Press date: 4 August 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 September 2014
Published date: 1 November 2014
Organisations: Astronomy Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 394580
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/394580
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: 61760798-1137-4679-854e-2dc8e3f31ff8
ORCID for M. Sullivan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9053-4820

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Date deposited: 20 May 2016 13:49
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 00:36

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Contributors

Author: M. Nicholl
Author: S.J. Smartt
Author: A. Jerkstrand
Author: C. Inserra
Author: J.P. Anderson
Author: C. Baltay
Author: S. Benetti
Author: T.- W. Chen
Author: N. Elias-Rosa
Author: U. Feindt
Author: M. Fraser
Author: A. Gal-Yam
Author: E. Hadjiyska
Author: D.A. Howell
Author: R. Kotak
Author: A. Lawrence
Author: G. Leloudas
Author: S. Margheim
Author: S. Mattila
Author: M. McCrum
Author: R. McKinnon
Author: A. Mead
Author: P. Nugent
Author: D. Rabinowitz
Author: A. Rest
Author: K.W. Smith
Author: J. Sollerman
Author: M. Sullivan ORCID iD
Author: F. Taddia
Author: S. Valenti
Author: E.S. Walker
Author: D.R. Young

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