Optical and near-infrared observations of SN 2011dh - The first 100 days

M. Ergon, J. Sollerman, M. Fraser, A. Pastorello, S. Taubenberger, N. Elias-Rosa, M. Bersten, A. Jerkstrand, S. Benetti, M. T. Botticella, C. Fransson, A. Harutyunyan, R. Kotak, S. Smartt, S. Valenti, F. Bufano, E. Cappellaro, M. Fiaschi, A. Howell, E. KankareL. Magill, S. Mattila, J. Maund, R. Naves, P. Ochner, J. Ruiz, K. Smith, L. Tomasella, M. Turatto

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We present optical and near-infrared (NIR) photometry and spectroscopy of the Type IIb supernova (SN) 2011dh for the first 100 days. We complement our extensive dataset with Swift ultra-violet (UV) and Spitzer mid-infrared (MIR) data to build a UV to MIR bolometric lightcurve using both photometric and spectroscopic data. Hydrodynamical modelling of the SN based on this bolometric lightcurve have been presented in Bersten et al. (2012, ApJ, 757, 31). We find that the absorption minimum for the hydrogen lines is never seen below ~11 000 km s-1 but approaches this value as the lines get weaker. This suggests that the interface between the helium core and hydrogen rich envelope is located near this velocity in agreement with the Bersten et al. (2012) He4R270 ejecta model. Spectral modelling of the hydrogen lines using this ejecta model supports the conclusion and we find a hydrogen mass of 0.01-0.04 M⊙ to be consistent with the observed spectral evolution. We estimate that the photosphere reaches the helium core at 5-7 days whereas the helium lines appear between ~10 and ~15 days, close to the photosphere and then move outward in velocity until ~40 days. This suggests that increasing non-thermal excitation due to decreasing optical depth for the γ-rays is driving the early evolution of these lines. The Spitzer 4.5 μm band shows a significant flux excess, which we attribute to CO fundamental band emission or a thermal dust echo although further work using late time data is needed. Thedistance and in particular the extinction, where we use spectral modelling to put further constraints, is discussed in some detail as well as the sensitivity of the hydrodynamical modelling to errors in these quantities. We also provide and discuss pre- and post-explosion observations of the SN site which shows a reduction by ~75 percent in flux at the position of the yellow supergiant coincident with SN 2011dh. The B, V and r band decline rates of 0.0073, 0.0090 and 0.0053 mag day-1 respectively are consistent with the remaining flux being emitted by the SN. Hence we find that the star was indeed the progenitor of SN 2011dh as previously suggested by Maund et al. (2011, ApJ, 739, L37) and which is also consistent with the results from the hydrodynamical modelling. Figures 2, 3, Tables 3-10, and Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgThe photometric tables are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/562/A17
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages35
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 03 Feb 2014


  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual: SN 2011dh
  • galaxies: clusters: individual: M51


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