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Photograph of Ross Church

Ross Church

Senior lecturer

Photograph of Ross Church

Hubble Space Telescope observations of the host galaxies and environments of calcium-rich supernovae

Author

  • J. D. Lyman
  • A. J. Levan
  • P. A. James
  • C. R. Angus
  • R. P. Church
  • M. B. Davies
  • N. R. Tanvir

Summary, in English

Calcium-rich supernovae (SNe) represent a significant challenge for our understanding of the fates of stellar systems. They are less luminous than other SN types and they evolve more rapidly to reveal nebular spectra dominated by strong calcium lines with weak or absent signatures of other intermediate-and iron-group elements, which are seen in other SNe. Strikingly, their explosion sites also mark them out as distinct from other SN types. Their galactocentric offset distribution is strongly skewed to very large offsets (~1/3 are offset >20 kpc), meaning they do not trace the stellar light of their hosts. Many of the suggestions to explain this extreme offset distribution have invoked the necessity for unusual formation sites such as globular clusters or dwarf satellite galaxies, which are therefore difficult to detect. Building on previous work attempting to detect host systems of nearby Ca-rich SNe, we here present Hubble Space Telescope imaging of five members of the class three exhibiting large offsets and two coincident with the disc of their hosts. We find no underlying sources at the explosion sites of any of our sample. Combining with previous work, the lack of a host system now appears to be a ubiquitous feature amongst Ca-rich SNe. In this case the offset distribution is most readily explained as a signature of high-velocity progenitor systems that have travelled significant distances before exploding.

Department/s

  • Lund Observatory

Publishing year

2016-03-02

Language

English

Pages

1768-1777

Publication/Series

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Volume

458

Issue

2

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Topic

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Keywords

  • Supernovae: General

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0035-8711