Evidence for multiple origins of fast declining Type II supernovae from spectropolarimetry of SN 2013ej and SN 2017ahn

T. Nagao, F. Patat, S. Taubenberger, D. Baade, T. Faran, A. Cikota, D. J. Sand, M. Bulla, H. Kuncarayakti, J. R. Maund, L. Tartaglia, S. Valenti, D. E. Reichart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The origin of the diverse light-curve shapes of Type II supernovae (SNe), and whether they come from similar or distinct progenitors, has been actively discussed for decades. Here, we report spectropolarimetry of two fast declining Type II (Type IIL) SNe: SN 2013ej and SN 2017ahn. SN 2013ej exhibited high continuum polarization from very soon after the explosion to the radioactive tail phase with time-variable polarization angles. The origin of this polarimetric behaviour can be interpreted as the combination of two different aspherical structures, namely an aspherical interaction of the SN ejecta with circumstellar matter (CSM) and an inherently aspherical explosion. Aspherical explosions are a common feature of slowly declining Type II (Type IIP) SNe. By contrast, SN 2017ahn showed low polarization not only in the photospheric phase but also in the radioactive tail phase. This low polarization in the tail phase, which has never before been observed in other Type IIP/L SNe, suggests that the explosion of SN 2017ahn was nearly spherical. These observations imply that Type IIL SNe have, at least, two different origins: they result from stars that have different explosion properties and/or different mass-loss processes. This fact might indicate that 13ej-like Type IIL SNe originate from a similar progenitor to those of Type IIP SNe accompanied by an aspherical CSM interaction, while 17ahn-like Type IIL SNe come from a more massive progenitor with less hydrogen in its envelope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3664-3680
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume505
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

Keywords

  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual: SN 2013ej, SN 2017ahn
  • techniques: polarimetric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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