Late-time supernova light curves: The effect of internal conversion and auger electrons

I.R. Seitenzahl, S. Taubenberger, S.A. Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Energy release from radioactive decays contributes significantly to supernova light curves. Previous works, which considered the energy deposited by ?-rays and positrons produced by Ni, Co, Ni, Co, Ti and Sc, have been quite successful in explaining the light curves of both core collapse and thermonuclear supernovae. We point out that Auger and internal conversion electrons, together with the associated X-ray cascade, constitute an additional heat source. When a supernova is transparent to ?-rays, these electrons can contribute significantly to light curves for reasonable nucleosynthetic yields. In particular, the electrons emitted in the decay of Co, which are largely due to internal conversion from a fortuitously low-lying 3/2 state in the daughter Fe, constitute an additional significant energy-deposition channel. We show that when the heating by these electrons is accounted for, a slow-down in the light curve of SN 1998bw is naturally obtained for typical hypernova nucleosynthetic yields. Additionally, we show that for generic Type Ia supernova yields, the Auger electrons emitted in the ground-state to ground-state electron capture decay of Fe exceed the energy released by the Ti decay chain for many years after the explosion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-535
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2009

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Late-time supernova light curves: The effect of internal conversion and auger electrons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this