The Type II Superluminous SN 2008es at Late Times: Near-Infrared Excess and Circumstellar Interaction

Kornpob Bhirombhakdi, Ryan Chornock, Adam A. Miller, Alexei V. Filippenko, S. Bradley Cenko, Nathan Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SN 2008es is one of the rare cases of a Type II superluminous supernova (SLSN) showing no relatively narrow features in its early-time spectra, and therefore its powering mechanism is under debate between circumstellar interaction (CSI) and magnetar spin-down. Late-time data are required for better constraints. We present optical and near-infrared (NIR) photometry obtained from Gemini, Keck, and Palomar Observatories from 192 to 554 days after explosion. Only broad Hα emission is detected in a Gemini spectrum at 288 days. The line profile exhibits red-wing attenuation relative to the early-time spectrum. In addition to the cooling SN photosphere, a NIR excess with blackbody temperature ∼ 1500 K and radius ∼ 1016 cm is observed. This evidence supports dust condensation in the cool dense shell being responsible for the spectral evolution and NIR excess. We favour CSI, with ∼ 2–3 M of circumstellar material (CSM) and ∼10–20 M of ejecta, as the powering mechanism, which still dominates at our late-time epochs. Both models of uniform density and steady wind fit the data equally well, with an effective CSM radius ∼ 1015 cm, supporting the efficient conversion of shock energy to radiation by CSI. A low amount (. 0.4 M) of 56Ni is possible but cannot be verified yet, since the light curve is dominated by CSI. The magnetar spin-down powering mechanism cannot be ruled out, but is less favoured because it overpredicts the late-time fluxes and may be inconsistent with the presence of dust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jul 20 2018


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Supernovae: individual (SN 2008es)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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