SN 2006jc: A Wolf-Rayet star exploding in a dense He-rich circumstellar medium

Ryan J. Foley, Nathan Smith, Mohan Ganeshalingam, Weidong Li, Ryan Chornock, Alexei V. Filippenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present optical photometry and spectra of the peculiar Type Ib supernova (SN) 2006jc. Strong and relatively narrow He I emission lines indicate the progenitor star exploded inside a dense circumstellar medium (CSM) rich in He. An exceptionally blue apparent continuum persists from our first spectrum obtained 15 days after discovery through our last spectrum ∼1 month later. Based on the presence of isolated Fe II emission lines, we interpret the blue "continuum" as blended, perhaps fluorescent, Fe emission. One or two of the reddest He I line profiles in our spectra are double-peaked, suggesting that the CSM has an aspherical geometry. The He I lines that are superposed on the blue continuum show P Cygni profiles, while the redder He I lines do not, implying that the blue continuum also originates from an asymmetric mass distribution. The He-rich CSM, aspherical geometry, and line velocities indicate that the progenitor star was a WNE Wolf-Rayet (W-R) star. A recent (2 years before the SN), coincident, luminous outburst similar to those seen in luminous blue variables (LBVs) is the leading candidate for the dense CSM. Such an eruption associated with a W-R star has not been seen before, indicating that the progenitor star may have recently transitioned from the LBV phase. We also present unpublished spectral and photometric data on SN 2002ao, which, along with SN 1999cq, is very similar to SN 2006jc. We propose that these three objects may represent a new and distinct class of SNe arising from W-R progenitors surrounded by a dense CSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume657
Issue number2 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 10 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

A stars
Wolf-Rayet stars
supernovae
continuums
stars
geometry
outburst
wolves
profiles
mass distribution
volcanic eruption
volcanic eruptions
photometry
fluorescence

Keywords

  • Stars: winds, outflows
  • Stars: Wolf-Rayet
  • Supernovae: general
  • Supernovae: individual (SN 1999cq, SN2002ao, SN 2006jc)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Foley, R. J., Smith, N., Ganeshalingam, M., Li, W., Chornock, R., & Filippenko, A. V. (2007). SN 2006jc: A Wolf-Rayet star exploding in a dense He-rich circumstellar medium. Astrophysical Journal, 657(2 II). https://doi.org/10.1086/513145

SN 2006jc : A Wolf-Rayet star exploding in a dense He-rich circumstellar medium. / Foley, Ryan J.; Smith, Nathan; Ganeshalingam, Mohan; Li, Weidong; Chornock, Ryan; Filippenko, Alexei V.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 657, No. 2 II, 10.03.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Foley, RJ, Smith, N, Ganeshalingam, M, Li, W, Chornock, R & Filippenko, AV 2007, 'SN 2006jc: A Wolf-Rayet star exploding in a dense He-rich circumstellar medium', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 657, no. 2 II. https://doi.org/10.1086/513145
Foley, Ryan J. ; Smith, Nathan ; Ganeshalingam, Mohan ; Li, Weidong ; Chornock, Ryan ; Filippenko, Alexei V. / SN 2006jc : A Wolf-Rayet star exploding in a dense He-rich circumstellar medium. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2007 ; Vol. 657, No. 2 II.
@article{9999f7f427c946969cb31399230ecf0c,
title = "SN 2006jc: A Wolf-Rayet star exploding in a dense He-rich circumstellar medium",
abstract = "We present optical photometry and spectra of the peculiar Type Ib supernova (SN) 2006jc. Strong and relatively narrow He I emission lines indicate the progenitor star exploded inside a dense circumstellar medium (CSM) rich in He. An exceptionally blue apparent continuum persists from our first spectrum obtained 15 days after discovery through our last spectrum ∼1 month later. Based on the presence of isolated Fe II emission lines, we interpret the blue {"}continuum{"} as blended, perhaps fluorescent, Fe emission. One or two of the reddest He I line profiles in our spectra are double-peaked, suggesting that the CSM has an aspherical geometry. The He I lines that are superposed on the blue continuum show P Cygni profiles, while the redder He I lines do not, implying that the blue continuum also originates from an asymmetric mass distribution. The He-rich CSM, aspherical geometry, and line velocities indicate that the progenitor star was a WNE Wolf-Rayet (W-R) star. A recent (2 years before the SN), coincident, luminous outburst similar to those seen in luminous blue variables (LBVs) is the leading candidate for the dense CSM. Such an eruption associated with a W-R star has not been seen before, indicating that the progenitor star may have recently transitioned from the LBV phase. We also present unpublished spectral and photometric data on SN 2002ao, which, along with SN 1999cq, is very similar to SN 2006jc. We propose that these three objects may represent a new and distinct class of SNe arising from W-R progenitors surrounded by a dense CSM.",
keywords = "Stars: winds, outflows, Stars: Wolf-Rayet, Supernovae: general, Supernovae: individual (SN 1999cq, SN2002ao, SN 2006jc)",
author = "Foley, {Ryan J.} and Nathan Smith and Mohan Ganeshalingam and Weidong Li and Ryan Chornock and Filippenko, {Alexei V.}",
year = "2007",
month = "3",
day = "10",
doi = "10.1086/513145",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "657",
journal = "Astrophysical Journal",
issn = "0004-637X",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "2 II",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - SN 2006jc

T2 - A Wolf-Rayet star exploding in a dense He-rich circumstellar medium

AU - Foley, Ryan J.

AU - Smith, Nathan

AU - Ganeshalingam, Mohan

AU - Li, Weidong

AU - Chornock, Ryan

AU - Filippenko, Alexei V.

PY - 2007/3/10

Y1 - 2007/3/10

N2 - We present optical photometry and spectra of the peculiar Type Ib supernova (SN) 2006jc. Strong and relatively narrow He I emission lines indicate the progenitor star exploded inside a dense circumstellar medium (CSM) rich in He. An exceptionally blue apparent continuum persists from our first spectrum obtained 15 days after discovery through our last spectrum ∼1 month later. Based on the presence of isolated Fe II emission lines, we interpret the blue "continuum" as blended, perhaps fluorescent, Fe emission. One or two of the reddest He I line profiles in our spectra are double-peaked, suggesting that the CSM has an aspherical geometry. The He I lines that are superposed on the blue continuum show P Cygni profiles, while the redder He I lines do not, implying that the blue continuum also originates from an asymmetric mass distribution. The He-rich CSM, aspherical geometry, and line velocities indicate that the progenitor star was a WNE Wolf-Rayet (W-R) star. A recent (2 years before the SN), coincident, luminous outburst similar to those seen in luminous blue variables (LBVs) is the leading candidate for the dense CSM. Such an eruption associated with a W-R star has not been seen before, indicating that the progenitor star may have recently transitioned from the LBV phase. We also present unpublished spectral and photometric data on SN 2002ao, which, along with SN 1999cq, is very similar to SN 2006jc. We propose that these three objects may represent a new and distinct class of SNe arising from W-R progenitors surrounded by a dense CSM.

AB - We present optical photometry and spectra of the peculiar Type Ib supernova (SN) 2006jc. Strong and relatively narrow He I emission lines indicate the progenitor star exploded inside a dense circumstellar medium (CSM) rich in He. An exceptionally blue apparent continuum persists from our first spectrum obtained 15 days after discovery through our last spectrum ∼1 month later. Based on the presence of isolated Fe II emission lines, we interpret the blue "continuum" as blended, perhaps fluorescent, Fe emission. One or two of the reddest He I line profiles in our spectra are double-peaked, suggesting that the CSM has an aspherical geometry. The He I lines that are superposed on the blue continuum show P Cygni profiles, while the redder He I lines do not, implying that the blue continuum also originates from an asymmetric mass distribution. The He-rich CSM, aspherical geometry, and line velocities indicate that the progenitor star was a WNE Wolf-Rayet (W-R) star. A recent (2 years before the SN), coincident, luminous outburst similar to those seen in luminous blue variables (LBVs) is the leading candidate for the dense CSM. Such an eruption associated with a W-R star has not been seen before, indicating that the progenitor star may have recently transitioned from the LBV phase. We also present unpublished spectral and photometric data on SN 2002ao, which, along with SN 1999cq, is very similar to SN 2006jc. We propose that these three objects may represent a new and distinct class of SNe arising from W-R progenitors surrounded by a dense CSM.

KW - Stars: winds, outflows

KW - Stars: Wolf-Rayet

KW - Supernovae: general

KW - Supernovae: individual (SN 1999cq, SN2002ao, SN 2006jc)

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33947698265&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33947698265&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/513145

DO - 10.1086/513145

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33947698265

VL - 657

JO - Astrophysical Journal

JF - Astrophysical Journal

SN - 0004-637X

IS - 2 II

ER -