On Type IIn/Ia-CSM supernovae as exemplified by SN 2012ca

C. Inserra*, M. Fraser, S. J. Smartt, S. Benetti, T. W. Chen, M. Childress, A. Gal-Yam, D. A. Howell, T. Kangas, G. Pignata, J. Polshaw, M. Sullivan, K. W. Smith, S. Valenti, D. R. Young, S. Parker, T. Seccull, M. McCrum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


We present the complete set of ultra-violet, optical and near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy for SN 2012ca, covering the period from 6 d prior to maximum light, until 531 d after maximum. The spectroscopic time series for SN 2012ca is essentially unchanged over 1.5 yr, and appear to be dominated at all epochs by signatures of interaction with a dense circumstellar medium (CSM) rather than the underlying supernova (SN). SN 2012ca is a member of the set of type of the ambiguous IIn/Ia-CSM SNe, the nature of which have been debated extensively in the literature. The two leading scenarios are either a Type Ia SN exploding within a dense CSM from a non-degenerate, evolved companion, or a core-collapse SN from a massive star. While some members of the population have been unequivocally associated with Type Ia SNe, in other cases the association is less certain. While it is possible that SN 2012ca does arise from a thermonuclear SN, this would require a relatively high (between 20 and 70 per cent) efficiency in converting kinetic energy to optical luminosity, and a massive (~2.3-2.6 M⊙) circumstellar medium. On the basis of energetics, and the results of simple modelling, we suggest that SN 2012ca is more likely associated with a core-collapse SN. This would imply that the observed set of similar SNe to SN 2012ca is in fact originated by two populations, and while these are drawn from physically distinct channels, they can have observationally similar properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2721-2740
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2016


  • PTF11kx
  • SN 1997cy
  • SN 1999E
  • SN 2002ic
  • SN 2005gj
  • Supernovae: general
  • Supernovae: individual: SN 2012ca

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'On Type IIn/Ia-CSM supernovae as exemplified by SN 2012ca'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this