Observations of SN 2017ein Reveal Shock Breakout Emission and A Massive Progenitor Star for a Type Ic Supernova

Danfeng Xiang, Xiaofeng Wang, Jun Mo, Lingjun Wang, Stephen Smartt, Morgan Fraser, Shuhrat A. Ehgamberdiev, Davron Mirzaqulov, Jujia Zhang, Tianmeng Zhang, Jozsef Vinko, J. Craig Wheeler, Griffin Hosseinzadeh, D. Andrew Howell, Curtis McCully, James M DerKacy, E. Baron, Peter Brown, Shaolan Bi, Hao SongKaicheng Zhang, A. Rest, Ken'ichi Nomoto, Alexey Tolstov, Sergei Blinnikov

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We present optical and ultraviolet observations of nearby type Ic supernova SN 2017ein as well as detailed analysis of its progenitor properties from both the early-time observations and the prediscovery Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images. The optical light curves started from within one day to $\sim$275 days after explosion, and optical spectra range from $\sim$2 days to $\sim$90 days after explosion. Compared to other normal SNe Ic like SN 2007gr and SN 2013ge, \mbox{SN 2017ein} seems to have more prominent C{\footnotesize II} absorption and higher expansion velocities in early phases, suggestive of relatively lower ejecta mass. The earliest photometry obtained for \mbox{SN 2017ein} show indications of shock cooling. The best-fit obtained by including a shock cooling component gives an estimate of the envelope mass as $\sim$0.02 M$_{\odot}$ and stellar radius as 8$\pm$4 R$_{\odot}$. Examining the pre-explosion images taken with the HST WFPC2, we find that the SN position coincides with a luminous and blue point-like source, with an extinction-corrected absolute magnitude of M$_V$$\sim$$-$8.2 mag and M$_I$$\sim$$-$7.7 mag.Comparisons of the observations to the theoretical models indicate that the counterpart source was either a single WR star or a binary with whose members had high initial masses, or a young compact star cluster. To further distinguish between different scenarios requires revisiting the site of the progenitor with HST after the SN fades away.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

28 pages, 19 figures; accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal


  • astro-ph.HE


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