Type Ia supernova rate measurements to redshift 2.5 from candels: Searching for prompt explosions in the early universe

Steven A. Rodney, Adam G. Riess, Louis Gregory Strolger, Tomas Dahlen, Or Graur, Stefano Casertano, Mark E. Dickinson, Henry C. Ferguson, Peter Garnavich, Brian Hayden, Saurabh W. Jha, David O. Jones, Robert P. Kirshner, Anton M. Koekemoer, Curtis McCully, Bahram Mobasher, Brandon Patel, Benjamin J. Weiner, S. Bradley Cenko, Kelsey I. ClubbMichael Cooper, Alexei V. Filippenko, Teddy F. Frederiksen, Jens Hjorth, Bruno Leibundgut, Thomas Matheson, Hooshang Nayyeri, Kyle Penner, Jonathan Trump, Jeffrey M. Silverman, Vivian U, K. Azalee Bostroem, Peter Challis, Abhijith Rajan, Schuyler Wolff, S. M. Faber, Norman A. Grogin, Dale Kocevski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


The Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) was a multi-cycle treasury program on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) that surveyed a total area of ∼0.25 deg2 with ∼900 HST orbits spread across five fields over three years. Within these survey images we discovered 65 supernovae (SNe) of all types, out to z ∼ 2.5. We classify ∼24 of these as Type Ia SNe (SNe Ia) based on host galaxy redshifts and SN photometry (supplemented by grism spectroscopy of six SNe). Here we present a measurement of the volumetric SN Ia rate as a function of redshift, reaching for the first time beyond z = 2 and putting new constraints on SN Ia progenitor models. Our highest redshift bin includes detections of SNe that exploded when the universe was only ∼3 Gyr old and near the peak of the cosmic star formation history. This gives the CANDELS high redshift sample unique leverage for evaluating the fraction of SNe Ia that explode promptly after formation (<500 Myr). Combining the CANDELS rates with all available SN Ia rate measurements in the literature we find that this prompt SN Ia fraction is , consistent with a delay time distribution that follows a simple t -1 power law for all times t > 40 Myr. However, mild tension is apparent between ground-based low-z surveys and space-based high-z surveys. In both CANDELS and the sister HST program CLASH (Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey with Hubble), we find a low rate of SNe Ia at z > 1. This could be a hint that prompt progenitors are in fact relatively rare, accounting for only 20% of all SN Ia explosions - though further analysis and larger samples will be needed to examine that suggestion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • infrared: general
  • supernovae: general
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Type Ia supernova rate measurements to redshift 2.5 from candels: Searching for prompt explosions in the early universe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Redshifts of 65 CANDELS supernovae

    Rodney, S. A. (Creator), Riess, A. G. (Creator), Strolger, L. (Creator), Dahlen, T. (Creator), Graur, O. (Creator), Casertano, S. (Creator), Dickinson, M. E. (Creator), Ferguson, H. C. (Creator), Garnavich, P. (Creator), Hayden, B. (Creator), Jha, S. W. (Creator), Jones, D. O. (Creator), Kirshner, R. P. (Creator), Koekemoer, A. M. (Creator), McCully, C. (Creator), Mobasher, B. (Creator), Patel, B. (Creator), Weiner, B. J. (Creator), Cenko, S. B. (Creator), Clubb, K. I. (Creator), Cooper, M. (Creator), Filippenko, A. V. (Creator), Frederiksen, T. F. (Creator), Hjorth, J. (Creator), Leibundgut, B. (Creator), Matheson, T. (Creator), Nayyeri, H. (Creator), Penner, K. (Creator), Trump, J. (Creator), Silverman, J. M. (Creator), Azalee Bostroem, B. K. (Creator), Challis, P. (Creator), Rajan, A. (Creator), Wolff, S. G. (Creator), Faber, S. M. (Creator), Grogin, N. A. (Creator), Kocevski, D. (Creator), Dickinson, M. E. (Creator), Ferguson, H. C. (Creator), Jha, S. W. (Creator), Weiner, B. J. (Creator), Filippenko, A. V. (Creator) & U, V. (Creator), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2015


Cite this