SN 2023ixf in Messier 101: photo-ionization of dense, close-in circumstellar material in a nearby type II supernova

W. V. Jacobson-Galán*, L. Dessart, R. Margutti, R. Chornock, R. J. Foley, C. D. Kilpatrick, D. O. Jones, K. Taggart, C. R. Angus, S. Bhattacharjee, L. A. Braff, D. Brethauer, A. J. Burgasser, F. Cao, C. M. Carlile, K. C. Chambers, D. A. Coulter, E. Dominguez-Ruiz, C. B. Dickinson, T. de BoerA. Gagliano, C. Gall, H. Gao, E. L. Gates, S. Gomez, M. Guolo, M. R. J. Halford, J. Hjorth, M. E. Huber, M. N. Johnson, P. R. Karpoor, T. Laskar, N LeBaron, Z. Li, Y. Lin, S. D. Loch, P. D. Lynam, E. A. Magnier, P. Maloney, D. J. Matthews, M. McDonald, H.-Y. Miao, D. Milisavljevic, Y.-C. Pan, S. Pradyumna, C. L. Ransome, J. M. Rees, A. Rest, C. Rojas-Bravo, N. R. Sandford, L. Sandoval Ascencio, S. Sanjaripour, A. Savino, H. Sears, N. Sharei, S. J. Smartt, E. R. Softich, C. A. Theissen, S. Tinyanont, H. Tohfa, V. A. Villar, Q. Wang, R. J. Wainscoat, A. L. Westerling, E. Wiston, M. A. Wozniak, S. K. Yadavalli, Y. Zenati

*Corresponding author for this work

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We present UV and/or optical observations and models of SN 2023ixf, a type II supernova (SN) located in Messier 101 at 6.9 Mpc. Early time (flash) spectroscopy of SN 2023ixf, obtained primarily at Lick Observatory, reveals emission lines of H i, He i/ii, C iv, and N iii/iv/v with a narrow core and broad, symmetric wings arising from the photoionization of dense, close-in circumstellar material (CSM) located around the progenitor star prior to shock breakout. These electron-scattering broadened line profiles persist for ∼8 days with respect to first light, at which time Doppler broadened the features from the fastest SN ejecta form, suggesting a reduction in CSM density at r ≳ 1015 cm. The early time light curve of SN 2023ixf shows peak absolute magnitudes (e.g., M u = −18.6 mag, M g = −18.4 mag) that are ≳2 mag brighter than typical type II SNe, this photometric boost also being consistent with the shock power supplied from CSM interaction. Comparison of SN 2023ixf to a grid of light-curve and multiepoch spectral models from the non-LTE radiative transfer code CMFGEN and the radiation-hydrodynamics code HERACLES suggests dense, solar-metallicity CSM confined to r = (0.5–1) × 1015 cm, and a progenitor mass-loss rate of Ṁ=10−2M⊙ yr−1. For the assumed progenitor wind velocity of v w = 50 km s−1, this corresponds to enhanced mass loss (i.e., superwind phase) during the last ∼3–6 yr before explosion.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL42
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2023


  • Red supergiant stars
  • Circumstellar matter
  • Core-collapse supernovae
  • Sky surveys


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