Circumstellar Medium Constraints on the Environment of Two Nearby Type Ia Supernovae: SN 2017cbv and SN 2020nlb

D. J. Sand, S. K. Sarbadhicary, C. Pellegrino, K. Misra, R. Dastidar, P. J. Brown, K. Itagaki, S. Valenti, Jonathan J. Swift, J. E. Andrews, K. A. Bostroem, J. Burke, L. Chomiuk, Y. Dong, L. Galbany, M. L. Graham, D. Hiramatsu, D. A. Howell, E. Y. Hsiao, D. JanzenJ. E. Jencson, M. J. Lundquist, C. McCully, D. Reichart, Nathan Smith, Lingzhi Wang, S. Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present deep Chandra X-ray observations of two nearby Type Ia supernovae, SN 2017cbv and SN 2020nlb, which reveal no X-ray emission down to a luminosity LX ≲ 5.3 × 1037 and ≲ 5.4 × 1037 erg s-1 (0.3-10 keV), respectively, at ∼16-18 days after the explosion. With these limits, we constrain the pre-explosion mass-loss rate of the progenitor system to be Ṁ < 7.2 × 10-9 and < 9.7 × 10-9 M⊙ yr-1 for each (at a wind velocity v w = 100 km s-1 and a radius of R ≈ 1016 cm), assuming any X-ray emission would originate from inverse Compton emission from optical photons upscattered by the supernova shock. If the supernova environment was a constant-density medium, we would find a number density limit of nCSM < 36 and < 65 cm-3, respectively. These X-ray limits rule out all plausible symbiotic progenitor systems, as well as large swathes of parameter space associated with the single degenerate scenario, such as mass loss at the outer Lagrange point and accretion winds. We also present late-time optical spectroscopy of SN 2020nlb, and set strong limits on any swept up hydrogen (LHα < 2.7 × 1037 erg s-1) and helium (LHe,λ6678 < 2.7 × 1037 erg s-1) from a nondegenerate companion, corresponding to MH ≲ 0.7-2 × 10-3 M⊙ and MHe ≲ 4 × 10-3 M⊙. Radio observations of SN 2020nlb at 14.6 days after explosion also yield a non-detection, ruling out most plausible symbiotic progenitor systems. While we have doubled the sample of normal Type Ia supernovae with deep X-ray limits, more observations are needed to sample the full range of luminosities and subtypes of these explosions, and set statistical constraints on their circumbinary environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Circumstellar Medium Constraints on the Environment of Two Nearby Type Ia Supernovae: SN 2017cbv and SN 2020nlb'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this