K. Maguire

European Southern Observatory, Arching, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (79)342.03 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The direct detection of a stellar system that explodes as a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) has not yet been successful. Various indirect methods have been used to investigate SN Ia progenitor systems but none have produced conclusive results. A prediction of single-degenerate models is that H- (or He-) rich material from the envelope of the companion star should be swept up by the SN ejecta in the explosion. Seven SNe Ia have been analysed to date looking for signs of H-rich material in their late-time spectra and none were detected. We present results from new late-time spectra of 11 SNe Ia obtained at the VLT using XShooter and FORS2. We present the tentative detection of H-alpha emission for SN 2013ct, corresponding to ~0.007 Msun of stripped/ablated companion star material (under the assumptions of the spectral modelling). This mass is significantly lower than expected for single-degenerate scenarios, suggesting that >0.1 Msun of H-rich is present but not observed. We do not detect H-alpha emission in the other 10 SNe Ia. This brings the total sample of normal SNe Ia with non-detections (<0.001-0.074 Msun) of H-rich material to 17 events. The simplest explanation for these non-detections is that these objects did not result from the explosion of a CO white dwarf accreting matter from a H-rich companion star via Roche-lobe overflow or symbiotic channels. However, further spectral modelling is needed to confirm this. We also find no evidence of He-emission features, but models with He-rich companion stars are not available to place mass limits.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Long duration y-ray bursts are thought to be a rare subclass of stripped-envelope core-collapse supernovae that launch collimated relativistic out ows (jets). All y-ray-burst-associated supernovae are spectroscopically of Type Ic with broad lines, but the fraction of broad-lined Type Ic supernovae harboring low-luminosity y-ray-bursts remains largely unconstrained. Some supernovae should be accompanied by off-axis y-ray burst jets that remain invisible initially, but then emerge as strong radio sources (as the jets decelerate). However, this critical prediction of the jet model for y-ray bursts has yet to be verified observationally. Here, we present K. G. Jansky Very Large Array radio observations of 15 broad-lined supernovae of Type Ic discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory in an untargeted manner. Most of the supernovae in our sample exclude radio emission observationally similar to that of the radio-loud, relativistic SN 1998bw. We thus constrain the fraction of 1998bw-like broad-lined Type Ic supernovae to be ≾ 14%. Most of the events in our sample also exclude off-axis jets similar to GRB031203 and GRB030329, but we cannot rule out off-axis y-ray-bursts expanding in a low-density wind environment. Three supernovae show late-time radio emission compatible with average speeds ≳ 0.3 c, on the dividing line between relativistic and "ordinary" supernovae. Based on these detections, we estimate that ≾ 45% of the broad-lined Type Ic supernovae in our sample may harbor off-axis y-ray-bursts expanding in media with densities in the range probed by this study.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: During the first few days after explosion, Type II supernovae (SNe) are dominated by relatively simple physics. Theoretical predictions regarding early-time SN light curves in the ultraviolet (UV) and optical bands are thus quite robust. We present, for the first time, a sample of $57$ $R$-band Type II SN light curves that are well monitored during their rise, having $>5$ detections during the first 10 days after discovery, and a well-constrained time of explosion to within $1-3$ days. We show that the energy per unit mass ($E/M$) can be deduced to roughly a factor of five by comparing early-time optical data to the model of Rabinak & Waxman (2011), while the progenitor radius cannot be determined based on $R$-band data alone. We find that Type II SN explosion energies span a range of $E/M=(0.2-20)\times 10^{51} \; \rm{erg/(10 M}_\odot$), and have a mean energy per unit mass of $\left\langle E/M \right\rangle = 0.85\times 10^{51} \; \rm{erg/(10 M}_\odot$), corrected for Malmquist bias. Assuming a small spread in progenitor masses, this indicates a large intrinsic diversity in explosion energy. Moreover, $E/M$ is positively correlated with the amount of $^{56}\rm{Ni}$ produced in the explosion, as predicted by some recent models of core-collapse SNe. We further present several empirical correlations. The peak magnitude is correlated with the decline rate ($\Delta m_{15}$), the decline rate is weakly correlated with the rise time, and the rise time is not significantly correlated with the peak magnitude. Faster declining SNe are more luminous and have longer rise times. This limits the possible power sources for such events.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The light curves of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are powered by the radioactive decay of 56Ni to 56Co at early times, and the decay of 56Co to 56Fe from ∼60 d after explosion. We examine the evolution of the [Co iii] λ5893 emission complex during the nebular phase for SNe Ia with multiple nebular spectra and show that the line flux follows the square of the mass of 56Co as a function of time. This result indicates both efficient local energy deposition from positrons produced in 56Co decay and long-term stability of the ionization state of the nebula. We compile SN Ia nebular spectra from the literature and present 21 new late-phase spectra of 7 SNe Ia, including SN 2014J. From these we measure the flux in the [Co iii] λ5893 line and remove its well-behaved time dependence to infer the initial mass of 56Ni (MNi) produced in the explosion. We then examine 56Ni yields for different SN Ia ejected masses (Mej – calculated using the relation between light-curve width and ejected mass) and find that the 56Ni masses of SNe Ia fall into two regimes: for narrow light curves (low stretch s ∼ 0.7–0.9), MNi is clustered near MNi ≈ 0.4 M⊙ and shows a shallow increase as Mej increases from ∼1 to 1.4 M⊙; at high stretch, Mej clusters at the Chandrasekhar mass (1.4 M⊙) while MNi spans a broad range from 0.6 to 1.2 M⊙. This could constitute evidence for two distinct SN Ia explosion mechanisms.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present data for LSQ14bdq, a hydrogen-poor super-luminous supernova (SLSN) discovered by the La Silla QUEST survey and classified by the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects. The spectrum and light curve are very similar to slow-declining SLSNe such as PTF12dam. However, detections within $\sim1$ day after explosion show a bright and relatively fast initial peak, lasting for $\sim15$ days, prior to the usual slow rise to maximum light. The broader, main peak can be fit with either central engine or circumstellar interaction models. We discuss the implications of the precursor peak in the context of these models. It is too bright and narrow to be explained as a normal \Ni-powered SN, and we suggest that interaction models may struggle to fit the precursor and main peak simultaneously. We propose that the initial peak is from the post-shock cooling of an extended stellar envelope, and reheating by a central engine drives the second peak. In this picture, we show that an explosion energy of $\sim2\times10^{52}$\,erg and a progenitor radius of a few hundred solar radii are required to power the early emission. The two competing engine models involve rapidly spinning magnetars (neutron stars) or fall-back accretion onto a central black hole. The prompt energy required may favour the black hole scenario. The remarkably bright initial peak effectively rules out a compact Wolf-Rayet star as a progenitor, since the inferred energies and ejected masses become unphysical.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: A series of optical and one near-infrared nebular spectra covering the first year of the Type Ia supernova SN 2011fe are presented and modelled. The density profile that proved best for the early optical/ultraviolet spectra, ‘ρ-11fe’, was extended to lower velocities to include the regions that emit at nebular epochs. Model ρ-11fe is intermediate between the fast deflagration model W7 and a low-energy delayed-detonation. Good fits to the nebular spectra are obtained if the innermost ejecta are dominated by neutron-rich, stable Fe-group species, which contribute to cooling but not to heating. The correct thermal balance can thus be reached for the strongest [Fe ii] and [Fe iii] lines to be reproduced with the observed ratio. The 56Ni mass thus obtained is ∼0.47 ± 0.05 M⊙. The bulk of 56Ni has an outermost velocity of ∼8500 km s−1. The mass of stable iron is ∼0.23 ± 0.03 M⊙. Stable Ni has low abundance, ∼10−2 M⊙. This is sufficient to reproduce an observed emission line near 7400 Å. A sub-Chandrasekhar explosion model with mass 1.02 M⊙ and no central stable Fe does not reproduce the observed line ratios. A mock model where neutron-rich Fe-group species are located above 56Ni following recent suggestions is also shown to yield spectra that are less compatible with the observations. The densities and abundances in the inner layers obtained from the nebular analysis, combined with those of the outer layers previously obtained, are used to compute a synthetic bolometric light curve, which compares favourably with the light curve of SN 2011fe.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We assemble a sample of 24 hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe). Parameterizing the light-curve shape through rise and decline time-scales shows that the two are highly correlated. Magnetar-powered models can reproduce the correlation, with the diversity in rise and decline rates driven by the diffusion time-scale. Circumstellar interaction models can exhibit a similar rise–decline relation, but only for a narrow range of densities, which may be problematic for these models. We find that SLSNe are approximately 3.5 mag brighter and have light curves three times broader than SNe Ibc, but that the intrinsic shapes are similar. There are a number of SLSNe with particularly broad light curves, possibly indicating two progenitor channels, but statistical tests do not cleanly separate two populations. The general spectral evolution is also presented. Velocities measured from Fe ii are similar for SLSNe and SNe Ibc, suggesting that diffusion time differences are dominated by mass or opacity. Flat velocity evolution in most SLSNe suggests a dense shell of ejecta. If opacities in SLSNe are similar to other SNe Ibc, the average ejected mass is higher by a factor 2–3. Assuming κ = 0.1 cm2 g−1, we estimate a mean (median) SLSN ejecta mass of 10 M⊙ (6 M⊙), with a range of 3–30 M⊙. Doubling the assumed opacity brings the masses closer to normal SNe Ibc, but with a high-mass tail. The most probable mechanism for generating SLSNe seems to be the core collapse of a very massive hydrogen-poor star, forming a millisecond magnetar.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present near-infrared (NIR) time-series spectroscopy, as well as complementary ultraviolet (UV), optical, and NIR data, of the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) iPTF13ebh, which was discovered within two days from the estimated time of explosion. The first NIR spectrum was taken merely 2.3 days after explosion and may be the earliest NIR spectrum yet obtained of a SN Ia. The most striking features in the spectrum are several NIR C I lines, and the C I {\lambda}1.0693 {\mu}m line is the strongest ever observed in a SN Ia. Interestingly, no strong optical C II counterparts were found, even though the optical spectroscopic time series began early and is densely-cadenced. Except at the very early epochs, within a few days from the time of explosion, we show that the strong NIR C I compared to the weaker optical C II appears to be general in SNe Ia. iPTF13ebh is a fast decliner with {\Delta}m15(B) = 1.79 $\pm$ 0.01, and its absolute magnitude obeys the linear part of the width-luminosity relation. It is therefore categorized as a "transitional" event, on the fast-declining end of normal SNe Ia as opposed to subluminous/91bg-like objects. iPTF13ebh shows NIR spectroscopic properties that are distinct from both the normal and subluminous/91bg-like classes, bridging the observed characteristics of the two classes. These NIR observations suggest composition and density of the inner core similar to that of 91bg-like events, and a deep reaching carbon burning layer not observed in slower declining SNe Ia. There is also a substantial difference between the explosion times inferred from the early-time light curve and the velocity evolution of the Si II {\lambda}0.6355 {\mu}m line, implying a long dark phase of ~ 4 days.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We report on our findings based on the analysis of observations of the Type II-L supernova LSQ13cuw within the framework of currently-accepted physical predictions of core-collapse supernova explosions. LSQ13cuw was discovered within a day of explosion, which is hitherto unprecedented for Type II-L supernovae. This motivated a comparative study of Type II-P and II-L supernovae with relatively well-constrained explosion epochs and rise times to maximium (optical) light. From our sample of 19 such events, we find evidence of a positive correlation between the duration of the rise and the peak brightness. On average, SNe II-L tend to have brighter peak magnitudes and longer rise times than SNe II-P. However, this difference is clearest only at the extreme ends of the rise-time versus peak brightness relation. Using two different analytical models, we performed a parameter study to investigate the physical parameters that control the rise-time behaviour. In general, the models qualitatively reproduce aspects of the observed trends. We find that the brightness of the optical peak increases for larger progenitor radii and explosion energies, and decreases for larger masses. The dependence of the rise time on mass and explosion energy is small compared to the dependence on the progenitor radius. We find no evidence that the progenitors of SNe II-L have significantly smaller radii than those of SNe II-P.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015
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    S. Dhawan · B. Leibundgut · J. Spyromilio · K. Maguire
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    ABSTRACT: Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have been proposed to be much better distance indicators at near-infrared (NIR) compared to optical wavelengths – the effect of dust extinction is expected to be lower and it has been shown that SNe Ia behave more like ‘standard candles’ at NIR wavelengths. To better understand the physical processes behind this increased uniformity, we have studied the Y, J and H-filter light curves of 91 SNe Ia from the literature. We show that the phases and luminosities of the first maximum in the NIR light curves are extremely uniform for our sample. The phase of the second maximum, the late-phase NIR luminosity and the optical light-curve shape are found to be strongly correlated, in particular more luminous SNe Ia reach the second maximum in the NIR filters at a later phase compared to fainter objects. We also find a strong correlation between the phase of the second maximum and the epoch at which the SN enters the Lira law phase in its optical colour curve (epochs ∼ 15 to 30 d after B-band maximum). The decline rate after the second maximum is very uniform in all NIR filters. We suggest that these observational parameters are linked to the nickel and iron mass in the explosion, providing evidence that the amount of nickel synthesized in the explosion is the dominating factor shaping the optical and NIR appearance of SNe Ia.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: The supernova (SN) PTF11iqb was initially classified as a Type IIn event caught very early after explosion. It showed narrow Wolf–Rayet (WR) spectral features on day 2 (as in SN 1998S and SN 2013cu), but the narrow emission weakened quickly and the spectrum morphed to resemble Types II-L and II-P. At late times, Hα exhibited a complex, multipeaked profile reminiscent of SN 1998S. In terms of spectroscopic evolution, we find that PTF11iqb was a near twin of SN 1998S, although with somewhat weaker interaction with circumstellar material (CSM) at early times, and stronger interaction at late times. We interpret the spectral changes as caused by early interaction with asymmetric CSM that is quickly (by day 20) enveloped by the expanding SN ejecta photosphere, but then revealed again after the end of the plateau when the photosphere recedes. The light curve can be matched with a simple model for CSM interaction (with a mass-loss rate of roughly 10−4 M⊙ yr−1) added to the light curve of a normal SN II-P. The underlying plateau requires a progenitor with an extended hydrogen envelope like a red supergiant at the moment of explosion, consistent with the slow wind speed (<80 km s−1) inferred from narrow Hα emission. The cool supergiant progenitor is significant because PTF11iqb showed WR features in its early spectrum – meaning that the presence of such WR features does not necessarily indicate a WR-like progenitor. Overall, PTF11iqb bridges SNe IIn with weaker pre-SN mass-loss seen in SNe II-L and II-P, implying a continuum between these types.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present an analysis of the early, rising light curves of 18 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory and the La Silla-QUEST variability survey. We fit these early data flux using a simple power law (f(t) = α × tn) to determine the time of first light (t0), and hence the rise time (trise) from first light to peak luminosity, and the exponent of the power-law rise (n). We find a mean uncorrected rise time of 18.98 ± 0.54 d, with individual supernova (SN) rise times ranging from 15.98 to 24.7 d. The exponent n shows significant departures from the simple ‘fireball model’ of n = 2 (or f(t) ∝ t2) usually assumed in the literature. With a mean value of n = 2.44 ± 0.13, our data also show significant diversity from event to event. This deviation has implications for the distribution of 56Ni throughout the SN ejecta, with a higher index suggesting a lesser degree of 56Ni mixing. The range of n found also confirms that the 56Ni distribution is not standard throughout the population of SNe Ia, in agreement with earlier work measuring such abundances through spectral modelling. We also show that the duration of the very early light curve, before the luminosity has reached half of its maximal value, does not correlate with the light-curve shape or stretch used to standardize SNe Ia in cosmological applications. This has implications for the cosmological fitting of SN Ia light curves.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: The Public European Southern Observatory Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects (PESSTO) began as a public spectroscopic survey in April 2012. We describe the data reduction strategy and data products which are publicly available through the ESO archive as the Spectroscopic Survey Data Release 1 (SSDR1). PESSTO uses the New Technology Telescope with EFOSC2 and SOFI to provide optical and NIR spectroscopy and imaging. We target supernovae and optical transients brighter than 20.5mag for classification. Science targets are then selected for follow-up based on the PESSTO science goal of extending knowledge of the extremes of the supernova population. The EFOSC2 spectra cover 3345-9995A (at resolutions of 13-18 Angs) and SOFI spectra cover 0.935-2.53 micron (resolutions 23-33 Angs) along with JHK imaging. This data release contains spectra from the first year (April 2012 - 2013), consisting of all 814 EFOSC2 spectra and 95 SOFI spectra (covering 298 distinct objects), in standard ESO Phase 3 format. We estimate the accuracy of the absolute flux calibrations for EFOSC2 to be typically 15%, and the relative flux calibration accuracy to be about 5%. The PESSTO standard NIR reduction process does not yet produce high accuracy absolute spectrophotometry but the SOFI JHK imaging will improve this. Future data releases will focus on improving the automated flux calibration of the data products.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: SN 2012ec is a Type IIP supernova (SN) with a progenitor detection and comprehensive photospheric phase observational coverage. Here, we present Very Large Telescope and Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects observations of this SN in the nebular phase. We model the nebular [O i] λλ6300, 6364 lines and find their strength to suggest a progenitor main-sequence mass of 13–15 M⊙. SN 2012ec is unique among hydrogen-rich SNe in showing a distinct line of stable nickel [Ni ii] λ7378. This line is produced by 58Ni, a nuclear burning ash whose abundance is a sensitive tracer of explosive burning conditions. Using spectral synthesis modelling, we use the relative strengths of [Ni ii] λ7378 and [Fe ii] λ7155 (the progenitor of which is 56Ni) to derive a Ni/Fe production ratio of 0.20 ± 0.07 (by mass), which is a factor 3.4 ± 1.2 times the solar value. High production of stable nickel is confirmed by a strong [Ni ii] 1.939 μm line. This is the third reported case of a core-collapse SN producing a Ni/Fe ratio far above the solar value, which has implications for core-collapse explosion theory and galactic chemical evolution models.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present observational data for a peculiar supernova discovered by the OGLE-IV survey and followed by the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey for Transient Objects. The inferred redshift of z=0.07 implies an absolute magnitude in the rest-frame I-band of M$_{I}\sim-17.6$ mag. This places it in the luminosity range between normal Type Ia SNe and novae. Optical and near infrared spectroscopy reveal mostly Ti and Ca lines, and an unusually red color arising from strong depression of flux at rest wavelengths <5000 \AA. To date, this is the only reported SN showing Ti-dominated spectra. Our multi band and bolometric lightcurves, as well as the spectral evolution, are in reasonable agreement with the predictions of models for the pure detonation of a helium shell around a low-mass CO white dwarf and "double-detonation" models that include a secondary detonation of a CO core following a primary detonation in an overlying helium shell.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We analyse spectroscopic measurements of 122 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) with z < 0.09 discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory, focusing on the properties of the Si ii λ6355 and Ca ii ‘near-infrared triplet’ absorptions. We examine the velocities of the photospheric Si ii λ6355, and the velocities and strengths of the photospheric and high-velocity Ca ii, in the context of the stellar mass (Mstellar) and star formation rate (SFR) of the SN host galaxies, as well as the position of the SN within its host. We find that SNe Ia with faster Si ii λ6355 tend to explode in more massive galaxies, with the highest velocity events only occurring in galaxies with Mstellar > 3 × 109 M⊙. We also find some evidence that these highest velocity SNe Ia explode in the inner regions of their host galaxies, similar to the study of Wang et al., although the trend is not as significant in our data. We show that these trends are consistent with some SN Ia spectral models, if the host galaxy stellar mass is interpreted as a proxy for host galaxy metallicity. We study the strength of the high-velocity component of the Ca ii near-IR absorption, and show that SNe Ia with stronger high-velocity components relative to photospheric components are hosted by galaxies with low Mstellar, blue colour, and a high sSFR. Such SNe are therefore likely to arise from the youngest progenitor systems. This argues against a pure orientation effect being responsible for high-velocity features in SN Ia spectra and, when combined with other studies, is consistent with a scenario where high-velocity features are related to an interaction between the SN ejecta and circumstellar medium local to the SN.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Spectroscopic and photometric observations of the nearby Type Ia Supernova (SN Ia) SN 2014J are presented. Spectroscopic observations were taken −8 to +10 d relative to B-band maximum, using FRODOSpec, a multipurpose integral-field unit spectrograph. The observations range from 3900 to 9000 Å. SN 2014J is located in M82 which makes it the closest SN Ia studied in at least the last 28 yr. It is a spectroscopically normal SN Ia with high-velocity features. We model the spectra of SN 2014J with a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code, using the abundance tomography technique. SN 2014J is highly reddened, with a host galaxy extinction of E(B − V) = 1.2 (RV = 1.38). It has a Δm15(B) of 1.08 ± 0.03 when corrected for extinction. As SN 2014J is a normal SN Ia, the density structure of the classical W7 model was selected. The model and photometric luminosities are both consistent with B-band maximum occurring on JD 245 6690.4 ± 0.12. The abundance of the SN 2014J behaves like other normal SN Ia, with significant amounts of silicon (12 per cent by mass) and sulphur (9 per cent by mass) at high velocities (12 300 km s−1) and the low-velocity ejecta (v < 6500 km s−1) consists almost entirely of 56Ni.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We forecast dark energy constraints that could be obtained from a new large sample of Type Ia supernovae where those at high redshift are acquired with the Euclid space mission. We simulate a three-prong SN survey: a z<0.35 nearby sample (8000 SNe), a 0.2<z<0.95 intermediate sample (8800 SNe), and a 0.75<z<1.55 high-z sample (1700 SNe). The nearby and intermediate surveys are assumed to be conducted from the ground, while the high-z is a joint ground- and space-based survey. This latter survey, the "Dark Energy Supernova Infra-Red Experiment" (DESIRE), is designed to fit within 6 months of Euclid observing time, with a dedicated observing program. We simulate the SN events as they would be observed in rolling-search mode by the various instruments, and derive the quality of expected cosmological constraints. We account for known systematic uncertainties, in particular calibration uncertainties including their contribution through the training of the supernova model used to fit the supernovae light curves. Using conservative assumptions and a 1-D geometric Planck prior, we find that the ensemble of surveys would yield competitive constraints: a constant equation of state parameter can be constrained to sigma(w)=0.022, and a Dark Energy Task Force figure of merit of 203 is found for a two-parameter equation of state. Our simulations thus indicate that Euclid can bring a significant contribution to a purely geometrical cosmology constraint by extending a high-quality SN Hubble diagram to z~1.5. We also present other science topics enabled by the DESIRE Euclid observations
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present an investigation of the optical spectra of 264 low-redshift (z < 0.2) Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory, an untargeted transient survey. We focus on velocity and pseudo-equivalent width measurements of the Si ii 4130, 5972, and 6355 Å lines, as well those of the Ca ii near-infrared (NIR) triplet, up to +5 days relative to the SN B-band maximum light. We find that a high-velocity component of the Ca ii NIR triplet is needed to explain the spectrum in ∼95 per cent of SNe Ia observed before −5 days, decreasing to ∼80 per cent at maximum. The average velocity of the Ca ii high-velocity component is ∼8500 km s−1 higher than the photospheric component. We confirm previous results that SNe Ia around maximum light with a larger contribution from the high-velocity component relative to the photospheric component in their Ca ii NIR feature have, on average, broader light curves and lower Ca ii NIR photospheric velocities. We find that these relations are driven by both a stronger high-velocity component and a weaker contribution from the photospheric Ca ii NIR component in broader light curve SNe Ia. We identify the presence of C ii in very-early-time SN Ia spectra (before −10 days), finding that >40 per cent of SNe Ia observed at these phases show signs of unburnt material in their spectra, and that C ii features are more likely to be found in SNe Ia having narrower light curves.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of the photometric and spectroscopic monitoring campaign of the transient SN 2007sv. The observables are similar to those of Type IIn supernovae, a well-known class of objects whose ejecta interact with pre-existing circumstellar material (CSM). The spectra show a blue continuum at early phases and prominent Balmer lines in emission; however, the absolute magnitude at the discovery of SN 2007sv (MR = −14.25 ± 0.38) indicate it to be most likely a supernova impostor. This classification is also supported by the lack of evidence in the spectra of very high velocity material as expected in supernova ejecta. In addition, we find no unequivocal evidence of broad lines of α- and/or Fe-peak elements. The comparison with the absolute light curves of other interacting objects (including Type IIn supernovae) highlights the overall similarity with the prototypical impostor SN 1997bs. This supports our claim that SN 2007sv was not a genuine supernova, and was instead a supernova impostor, most likely similar to the major eruption of a luminous blue variable.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Publication Stats

1k Citations
342.03 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014-2015
    • European Southern Observatory
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2008-2015
    • Queen's University Belfast
      • Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC)
      Béal Feirste, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
  • 2011-2014
    • University of Oxford
      • Department of Physics
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom