Supernova 2014C: Ongoing Interaction with Extended Circumstellar Material with Silicate Dust

Samaporn Tinyanont, Ryan M. Lau, Mansi M. Kasliwal, Keiichi Maeda, Nathan Smith, Ori D. Fox, Robert D. Gehrz, Kishalay De, Jacob Jencson, John Bally, Frank Masci

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17 Scopus citations


Supernova (SN) 2014C is unique: a seemingly typical hydrogen-poor SN that started to interact with a dense, hydrogen-rich circumstellar medium (CSM) ∼100 days post-explosion. The delayed interaction suggests a detached CSM shell, unlike in a typical SN IIn where the CSM is much closer and the interaction commences earlier post-explosion, indicating a different mass-loss history. We present infrared observations of SN 2014C 1-5 yr post-explosion, including uncommon 9.7 μm imaging with COMICS on the Subaru telescope. Spectroscopy shows the intermediate-width He I 1.083 μm emission from the interacting region up to the latest epoch 1639 days post-explosion. The last Spitzer/IRAC photometry at 1920 days confirms ongoing CSM interaction. The 1-10 μm spectral energy distributions (SEDs) can be explained by a dust model with a mixture of 62% carbonaceous and 38% silicate dust, pointing to a chemically inhomogeneous CSM. The inference of silicate dust is the first among interacting SNe. An SED model with purely carbonaceous CSM dust, while possible, requires more than 0.22 M o˙ of dust, an order of magnitude larger than what has been observed in any SNe at this epoch. The light curve beyond 500 days is well fit by an interaction model with a wind-driven CSM and a mass-loss rate of ∼10-3 M o˙ yr-1, which presents an additional CSM density component exterior to the constant-density shell reported previously in the literature. SN 2014C could originate in a binary system, similar to RY Scuti, which would explain the observed chemical and density profile inhomogeneity in the CSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number75
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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