PS1-12sk is a Peculiar Supernova From a He-rich Progenitor System in a Brightest Cluster Galaxy Environment

N. E. Sanders, A. M. Soderberg, R. J. Foley, R. Chornock, D. Milisavljevic, R. Margutti, M. R. Drout, M. Moe, E. Berger, W. R. Brown, R. Lunnan, S. J. Smartt, M. Fraser, R. Kotak, L. Magill, K. W. Smith, D. Wright, K. Huang, Y. Urata, J.S. MulchaeyA. Rest, D. J Sand, L. Chomiuk, A.S. Friedman, R..P. Kirshner, G.H. Marion, J.L. Tonry, W. S. Burgett, K. C. Chambers, K.W. Hodapp, R. P. Kudritzki, P.A. Price

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We report on our discovery and observations of the Pan-STARRS1 supernova (SN) PS1-12sk, a transient with properties that indicate atypical star formation in its host galaxy cluster or pose a challenge to popular progenitor system models for this class of explosion. The optical spectra of PS1-12sk classify it as a Type Ibn SN (c.f. SN 2006jc), dominated by intermediate-width (3x10^3 km/s) and time variable He I emission. Our multi-wavelength monitoring establishes the rise time dt = 9-23 days and shows an NUV-NIR SED with temperature > 17x10^3 K and a peak rise magnitude of Mz = -18.9 mag. SN Ibn spectroscopic properties are commonly interpreted as the signature of a massive star (17 - 100 M_sun) explosion within a He-enriched circumstellar medium. However, unlike previous Type Ibn supernovae, PS1-12sk is associated with an elliptical brightest cluster galaxy, CGCG 208-042 (z = 0.054) in cluster RXC J0844.9+4258. The expected probability of an event like PS1-12sk in such environments is low given the measured infrequency of core-collapse SNe in red sequence galaxies compounded by the low volumetric rate of SN Ibn. Furthermore, we find no evidence of star formation at the explosion site to sensitive limits (Sigma Halpha
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 02 May 2013

Bibliographical note

16 pages, 9 figures, v2 as accepted by ApJ, more information at


  • astro-ph.CO

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