Caltech core-collapse project (CCCP) observations of type IIn supernovae: Typical properties and implications for their progenitor stars

Michael Kiewe, Avishay Gal-Yam, Iair Arcavi, Douglas C. Leonard, J. Emilio Enriquez, S. Bradley Cenko, Derek B. Fox, Dae Sik Moon, David J. Sand, Alicia M. Soderberg

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Abstract

Type IIn supernovae (SNe IIn) are rare events, constituting only a few percent of all core-collapse SNe, and the current sample of well-observed SNe IIn is small. Here, we study the four SNe IIn observed by the Caltech Core-Collapse Project (CCCP). The CCCP SN sample is unbiased to the extent that object selection was not influenced by target SN properties. Therefore, these events are representative of the observed population of SNe IIn. We find that a narrow P-Cygni profile in the hydrogen Balmer lines appears to be a ubiquitous feature of SNe IIn. Our light curves show a relatively long rise time (>20 days) followed by a slow decline stage (0.01-0.15magday-1), and a typical V-band peak magnitude of MV = -18.4±1.0mag. We measure the progenitor star wind velocities (600-1400kms-1) for the SNe in our sample and derive pre-explosion mass-loss rates (0.026-0.12 M yr-1). We compile similar data for SNe IIn from the literature and discuss our results in the context of this larger sample. Our results indicate that typical SNe IIn arise from progenitor stars that undergo luminous-blue-variable-like mass loss shortly before they explode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume744
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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