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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Abstract

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
JournalNature
Volume459
Issue number7247
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 04 Jun 2009

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    Valenti, S., Pastorello, A., Cappellaro, E., Benetti, S., Mazzali, P. A., Manteca, J., Taubenberger, S., Elias-Rosa, N., Ferrando, R., Harutyunyan, A., Hentunen, V. P., Nissinen, M., Pian, E., Turatto, M., Zampieri, L., & Smartt, S. J. (2009). A low-energy core-collapse supernova without a hydrogen envelope. Nature, 459(7247), 674-677. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08023