SN 2016gsd: An unusually luminous and linear type II supernova with high velocities

T. M. Reynolds, M. Fraser, S. Mattila, M. Ergon, P. Lundqvist, L. Dessart, Subo Dong, N. Elias-Rosa, L. Galbany, C. P. Gutiérrez, T. Kangas, E. Kankare, R. Kotak, H. Kuncarayakti, A. Pastorello, O. Rodriguez, S. J. Smartt, M. Stritzinger, L. Tomasella, Ping ChenJ. Harmanen, G. Hozzeinzadeh, D. Andrew Howell, C. Inserra, M. Nicholl, M. Nielsen, A. Somero, R. Tronsgaard, D. R. Young

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The core-collapse of a hydrogen rich massive star most often results in a supernova (SN) with a plateau phase in its light curve. However, in some cases we do not observe this plateau. We present observations of the unusually luminous supernova 2016gsd that displays little evidence of the expected drop from the optically thick phase to the radioactively powered tail. With a peak absolute magnitude of V=$-$19.95$\pm$0.08, this object is one of the brightest type II SNe, and lies in the gap of magnitudes between the majority of type II SNe and the superluminous SNe. The velocities derived from the absorption in H are also unusually high with the blue edge tracing the fastest moving gas initially at 20000 kms$^{-1}$ and then declining approximately linearly to 15000 kms$^{-1}$ over ~100 days. The dwarf host galaxy of the SN indicates a low metallicity progenitor which may also contribute to the weakness of the metal lines in its spectra. We examine SN 2016gsd with reference to similarly luminous, linear type II SNe such as SNe 1979C and 1998S, and discuss the interpretation of its observational characteristics. We compare the observations with a model produced by the JEKYLL code and find that a massive star with a depleted and inflated hydrogen envelope struggles to reproduce the high luminosity and extreme linearity of SN 2016gsd. Instead, we suggest that the influence of interaction between the SN ejecta and circumstellar material can explain the majority of the observed properties of the SN. The high velocities and strong H$\alpha$ absorption present throughout the evolution of the SN may imply a CSM configured in an asymmetric geometry.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Early online date10 Feb 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 10 Feb 2020


  • Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
  • Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
  • Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics


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