Strong late-time circumstellar interaction in the peculiar supernova iPTF14hls

Jennifer E. Andrews, Nathan Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We present a moderate-resolution spectrum of the peculiar Type II supernova (SN) iPTF14hls taken on day 1153 after discovery. This spectrum reveals the clear signature of shock interaction with dense circumstellar material (CSM). We suggest that this CSM interaction may be an important clue for understanding the extremely unusual photometric and spectroscopic evolution seen over the first 600 d of iPTF14hls. The late-time spectrum shows a doublepeaked intermediate-width Hα line indicative of expansion speeds around 1000 km s-1, with the double-peaked shape hinting at a disc-like geometry in the CSM. If the CSM were highly asymmetric, perhaps in a disc or torus that was ejected from the star 3-6 yr prior to explosion, the CSM interaction could have been overrun and hidden below the SN ejecta photosphere from a wide range of viewing angles. In that case, CSM interaction luminosity would have been thermalized well below the photosphere, potentially sustaining the high luminosity without exhibiting the traditional observational signatures of strong CSM interaction (narrow Hα emission and X-rays). Variations in density structure of the CSM could account for the multiple rebrightenings of the light curve. We propose that a canonical 1×1051 erg explosion energy with enveloped CSM interaction as seen in some recent SNe, rather than an entirely new explosion mechanism, may be adequate to explain the peculiar evolution of iPTF14hls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 11 2018


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Stars: Winds, outflows
  • Supernovae: General
  • Supernovae: Individual: iPTF14hls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Strong late-time circumstellar interaction in the peculiar supernova iPTF14hls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this