3 years ago

Models for the Unusual Supernova iPTF14hls.

S. E. Woosley

Supernova iPTF14hls maintained a bright, variable luminosity for more than 600 days, while lines of hydrogen and iron in its spectrum had different speeds, but showed little evolution. Here several varieties of models are explored for iPTF14hls-like events. They are based upon circumstellar medium (CSM) interaction in an ordinary supernova, pulsational pair-instability supernovae (PPISN), and magnetar formation. Each is able to explain the enduring emission and brightness of iPTF14hls, but has shortcomings when confronted with other observed characteristics. The PPISN model can, in some cases, produce a presupernova transient like the one observed at the site of iPTF14hls in 1954. It also offers a clear path to providing the necessary half solar mass of material at $\sim 5 \times 10^{16}$ cm for CSM interaction to work, and can give an irregular light curve without invoking additional assumptions. It explains the 4000 km s$^{-1}$ seen in the iron lines, but without additional energy input, strains to explain the nearly constant 8000 km s$^{-1}$ velocity seen in H$_{\alpha}$. Magnetar models can also explain many of the observed features, but give a smooth light curve and may require an evolving magnetic field strength. Their dynamics may be difficult to reconcile with the observation of slow-moving hydrogen at late times. The various models predict different spectral characteristics and a remnant that, today, could be a black hole, magnetar, or even a star. Further observations and calculations of radiation transport will narrow the range of possibilities.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.08666

DOI: arXiv:1801.08666v1

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