A low-energy core-collapse supernova without a hydrogen envelope

S. Valenti, A. Pastorello, E. Cappellaro, S. Benetti, P.A. Mazzali, J. Manteca, S. Taubenberger, N. Elias-Rosa, R. Ferrando, A. Harutyunyan, V.P. Hentunen, M. Nissinen, E. Pian, M. Turatto, L. Zampieri, S. J. Smartt

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The final fate of massive stars depends on many factors. Theory suggests that some with initial masses greater than 25 to 30 solar masses end up as Wolf-Rayet stars, which are deficient in hydrogen in their outer layers because of mass loss through strong stellar winds. The most massive of these stars have cores which may form a black hole and theory predicts that the resulting explosion of some of them produces ejecta of low kinetic energy, a faint optical luminosity and a small mass fraction of radioactive nickel. An alternative origin for low-energy supernovae is the collapse of the oxygen-neon core of a star of 7-9 solar masses. No weak, hydrogen-deficient, core-collapse supernovae have hitherto been seen. Here we report that SN 2008ha is a faint hydrogen-poor supernova. We propose that other similar events have been observed but have been misclassified as peculiar thermonuclear supernovae (sometimes labelled SN 2002cx-like events). This discovery could link these faint supernovae to some long-duration gamma-ray bursts, because extremely faint, hydrogen-stripped core-collapse supernovae have been proposed to produce such long gamma-ray bursts, the afterglows of which do not show evidence of associated supernovae.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-677
Number of pages4
Issue number7247
Publication statusPublished - 04 Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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