We present new spectroscopic and photometric data of the Type Ibn supernovae 2006jc, 2000er and 2002ao. We discuss the general properties of this recently proposed supernova family, which also includes SN 1999cq. The early-time monitoring of SN 2000er traces the evolution of this class of objects during the first few days after the shock breakout. An overall similarity in the photometric and spectroscopic evolution is found among the members of this group, which would be unexpected if the energy in these core-collapse events was dominated by the interaction between supernova ejecta and circumstellar medium. Type Ibn supernovae appear to be rather normal Type Ib/c supernova explosions which occur within a He-rich circumstellar environment. SNe Ibn are therefore likely produced by the explosion of Wolf-Rayet progenitors still embedded in the He-rich material lost by the star in recent mass-loss episodes, which resemble known luminous blue variable eruptions. The evolved Wolf-Rayet star could either result from the evolution of a very massive star or be the more evolved member of a massive binary system. We also suggest that there are a number of arguments in favour of a Type Ibn classification for the historical SN 1885A (S-Andromedae), previously considered as an anomalous Type la event with some resemblance to SN 1991bg.
- Space and Planetary Science