Nebular Spectroscopy of the "blue Bump" Type Ia Supernova 2017cbv

D. J. Sand, M. L. Graham, J. Botyánszki, D. Hiramatsu, C. McCully, S. Valenti, G. Hosseinzadeh, D. A. Howell, J. Burke, R. Cartier, T. Diamond, E. Y. Hsiao, S. W. Jha, D. Kasen, S. Kumar, G. H. Marion, N. Suntzeff, L. Tartaglia, J. C. Wheeler, S. Wyatt

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44 Scopus citations


We present nebular phase optical and near-infrared spectroscopy of the Type Ia supernova (SN) 2017cbv. The early light curves of SN 2017cbv showed a prominent blue bump in the U, B, and g bands lasting for ∼5 days. One interpretation of the early light curve is that the excess blue light is due to shocking of the SN ejecta against a nondegenerate companion star - a signature of the single degenerate scenario. If this is the correct interpretation, the interaction between the SN ejecta and the companion star could result in significant H (or helium) emission at late times, possibly along with other species, depending on the companion star and its orbital separation. A search for H emission in our +302 d spectrum yields a nondetection, with a L H < 8.0 × 1035 erg s-1 (given an assumed distance of D = 12.3 Mpc), which we verified by implanting simulated H emission into our data. We make a quantitative comparison to models of swept-up material stripped from a nondegenerate companion star and limit the mass of hydrogen that might remain undetected to M H < 1 × 10-4 M o. A similar analysis of helium star related lines yields a M He < 5 × 10-4 M o. Taken at face value, these results argue against a nondegenerate H- or He-rich companion in Roche lobe overflow as the progenitor of SN 2017cbv. Alternatively, there could be weaknesses in the envelope-stripping and radiative transfer models necessary to interpret the strong H and He flux limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2018


  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual (SN 2017cbv)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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