Searching for the Expelled Hydrogen Envelope in Type I Supernovae via Late-Time Hα Emission

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We report the first results from our long-term observational survey aimed at discovering late-time interaction between the ejecta of hydrogen-poor Type I supernovae (SNe I) and the hydrogen-rich envelope expelled from the progenitor star several decades/centuries before explosion. The expelled envelope, moving with a velocity of ~10–100 km s−1, is expected to be caught up by the fast-moving SN ejecta several years/decades after explosion, depending on the history of the mass-loss process acting in the progenitor star prior to explosion. The collision between the SN ejecta and the circumstellar envelope results in net emission in the Balmer lines, especially Hα. We look for signs of late-time Hα emission in older SNe Ia/Ibc/IIb with hydrogen-poor ejecta via narrowband imaging. Continuum-subtracted Hα emission has been detected for 13 point sources: 9 SN Ibc, 1 SN IIb, and 3 SN Ia events. Thirty-eight SN sites were observed on at least two epochs, from which three objects (SN 1985F, SN 2005kl, and SN 2012fh) showed significant temporal variation in the strength of their Hα emission in our Direct Imaging Auxiliary Functions Instrument (DIAFI) data. This suggests that the variable emission is probably not due to nearby H ii regions unassociated with the SN and hence is an important additional hint that ejecta–circumstellar medium interaction may take place in these systems. Moreover, we successfully detected the late-time Hα emission from the Type Ib SN 2014C, which was recently discovered as a strongly interacting SN in various (radio, infrared, optical, and X-ray) bands.




Institute of Physics Publishing

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The Astrophysical Journal