Abstract

Type II supernovae are the final stage of massive stars (above 8 M) which retain part of their hydrogen-rich envelope at the moment of explosion. They typically eject up to 15 M of material, with peak magnitudes of −17.5 mag and energies in the order of 1051 erg, which can be explained by neutrino-driven explosions and neutron star formation. Here, we present our study of OGLE-2014-SN-073, one of the brightest type II supernovae ever discovered, with an unusually broad lightcurve combined with high ejecta velocities. From our hydrodynamical modelling, we infer a remarkable ejecta mass of 60 - 16 + 42 M and a relatively high explosion energy of 12 .4 - 5 .9 + 13 .0 × 1 0 51 erg. We show that this object belongs, along with a very small number of other hydrogen-rich supernovae, to an energy regime that is not explained by standard core-collapse neutrino-driven explosions. We compare the quantities inferred by the hydrodynamical modelling with the expectations of various exploding scenarios and attempt to explain the high energy and luminosity released. We find some qualitative similarities with pair-instability supernovae, although the prompt injection of energy by a magnetar seems to be a viable alternative explanation for such an extreme event.

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Acknowledgements

We thank M. Kubiak and G. Pietrzyn′ski—former members of the OGLE team—for contributions to the collection of the OGLE photometric data. G.T., S.B., E.C., N.E.-R., A.P. and M.T. are partially supported by PRIN–INAF 2014 with the project ‘Transient Universe: unveiling new types of stellar explosions with PESSTO’. N.E.-R. acknowledges financial support from MIUR PRIN 2010–2011, ‘The dark Universe and the cosmic evolution of baryons: from current surveys to Euclid’. G.T. is also supported by the fellowship for the study of bright type II supernovae, offered by INAF–OaPD. S.J.S. acknowledges funding from EU/FP7-ERC grant agreement 291222 and Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom grants ST/I001123/1 and ST/L000709/1. T.-W.C. acknowledges support through the Sofia Kovalevskaja Award to P. Schady from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany. T.J.M. is supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (16H07413). F.T. and J.S. acknowledge support from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. M.F. acknowledges support from a Royal Society—Science Foundation Ireland University Research Fellowship. Ł.W. was supported by the Polish National Science Centre grant OPUS 2015/17/B/ST9/03167. D.A.H. and C.M. are supported by NSF 1313484. G.D. and M.S. acknowledge support from EU/FP7-ERC grant 615929 and the Weizmann-UK ‘Making Connections’ programme. A.G.-Y. is supported by EU/FP7 via ERC grant 307260, the Quantum Universe I-Core programme by the Israeli Committee for planning and funding and the Israel Science Foundation, and Kimmel and YeS awards. A.J. acknowledges funding by the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement 702538. K.M. acknowledges support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom through an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship. Z.K.-R. acknowledges support from ERC Consolidator Grant 647208. The OGLE project has received funding from the National Science Centre, Poland, grant MAESTRO 2014/14/A/ST9/00121 to A.U. This study is based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile, as part of PESSTO (ESO programme IDs 197.D.1075, 191.D-0935 and 188.D-3003) and observations made with ESO telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under programme 096.D-0894(A). GEMINI spectra were obtained under the GS-2015A-Q-56 programme (Principal Investigator D.A.H.). We are grateful to the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare—Laboratori Nazionali del Sud for the use of computer facilities. This project used public archival data from the DES. Funding for the DES projects was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation, Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, Higher Education Funding Council for England, National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, Center of Cosmology and Astro Particle Physics at Ohio State University, Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Germany) and the collaborating institutions in the DES, which are the Argonne National Laboratory, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Cambridge, Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Technológicas in Madrid, University of Chicago, University College London, DES–Brazil Consortium, University of Edinburgh, ETH Zürich, Fermilab, University of Illinois, Institute of Space Sciences (Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia–Spanish National Research Council), Institute for High Energy Physics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the associated Excellence Cluster Universe, University of Michigan, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, University of Nottingham, Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Portsmouth, SLAC National Laboratory, Stanford University, University of Sussex and Texas A&M University. This paper is also based on observations from the Las Cumbres Observatory: we thank their staff for excellent assistance. IRAF is distributed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Astrophysics Research Centre, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, BT7 1NN, UK

    • G. Terreran
    • , S. J. Smartt
    • , C. Inserra
    • , K. Maguire
    • , K. W. Smith
    • , D. R. Young
    •  & E. Kankare
  2. INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122, Padova, Italy

    • G. Terreran
    • , M. L. Pumo
    • , L. Zampieri
    • , S. Benetti
    • , E. Cappellaro
    • , N. Elias-Rosa
    • , A. Pastorello
    •  & M. Turatto
  3. Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia G. Galilei, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, 35122, Padova, Italy

    • G. Terreran
  4. Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università degli studi di Catania, Via Santa Sofia 64, 95123, Catania, Italy

    • M. L. Pumo
  5. INFN - Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Via Santa Sofia 62, 95123, Catania, Italy

    • M. L. Pumo
  6. Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstraß e 1, 85748, Garching, Germany

    • T.-W. Chen
  7. Division of Theoretical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8588, Japan

    • T. J. Moriya
  8. The Oskar Klein Centre, Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova, 10691, Stockholm, Sweden

    • F. Taddia
    •  & J. Sollerman
  9. Unidad Mixta Internacional Franco-Chilena de Astronomía (CNRS UMI 3386), Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Camino El Observatorio 1515, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile

    • L. Dessart
  10. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA

    • M. Nicholl
  11. School of Physics, O’Brien Centre for Science North, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

    • M. Fraser
  12. Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478, Warszawa, Poland

    • Ł. Wyrzykowski
    • , A. Udalski
    • , Z. Kostrzewa-Rutkowska
    • , S. Kozłowski
    • , P. Mróz
    • , M. Pawlak
    • , P. Pietrukowicz
    • , R. Poleski
    • , D. Skowron
    • , J. Skowron
    • , I. Soszyński
    • , M. K. Szymański
    •  & K. Ulaczyk
  13. Las Cumbres Observatory, 6740 Cortona Drive Suite 102, Goleta, CA, 93117, USA

    • D. A. Howell
    •  & C. McCully
  14. Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, Broida Hall, Mail Code 9530, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106-9530, USA

    • D. A. Howell
    •  & C. McCully
  15. Department of Physics, University of California, Davis, CA, 95616, USA

    • S. Valenti
  16. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK

    • G. Dimitriadis
    •  & M. Sullivan
  17. Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel

    • O. Yaron
    •  & A. Gal-Yam
  18. European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Córdova 3107, Casilla 19, Santiago, Chile

    • J. P. Anderson
  19. INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Salita Moiariello 16, 80131, Napoli, Italy

    • M. Della Valle
  20. International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, Piazza delle Repubblica, 10, 65122, Pescara, Italy

    • M. Della Valle
  21. Max-Planck-Institut fur Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85741, Garching, Germany

    • A. Jerkstrand
  22. SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    • Z. Kostrzewa-Rutkowska
  23. Department of Astrophysics, Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

    • Z. Kostrzewa-Rutkowska
  24. Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA

    • R. Poleski
  25. Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

    • K. Ulaczyk

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Contributions

G.T. initiated and coordinated the project, managed the follow-up campaign, carried out the photometric and spectroscopic analyses and wrote the manuscript. M.L.P. provided the hydrodynamical modelling and contributed to the preparation of the manuscript. T.-W.C. performed the host galaxy analyses. T.J.M. proposed and investigated the PISN scenario. F.T. identified the similarities of the target with SN 1987A and suggested the scaling. L.D. highlighted the issues with the interpretation of PISN and proposed the colliding shells scenario. L.Z. performed the semi-analytical modelling as a preliminary step to the full hydrodynamical modelling. S.J.S. is the principal investigator of PESSTO, through which we gathered all the observations at NTT. S.J.S. and S.B. supervised G.T., helped to coordinate the project and contributed to preparing and editing the manuscript, including final proofreading. C.I. helped with the magnetar hypothesis. E.C. and A.P. helped with theoretical interpretations, providing during preparation of the manuscript. M.N. retrieved the PISN models and helped to perform a thorough comparison of them. M.F. provided constructive criticism during preparation of the manuscript. Ł.W. was the main interlocutor with the OGLE team, providing all the data. D.A.H. was the principal investigator of the GEMINI proposal granting time from which we obtained two spectra that were reduced by C.M. and S.V. G.D. obtained the NTT observations. K.M., M.S., K.W.S., O.Y. and D.R.Y. (the PESSTO builders) helped to coordinate the observations using the NTT and administered the aspects of the PESSTO campaign. J.P.A., M.D.V., N.E.-R., A.G.-Y., A.J., E.K., J.S. and M.T. provided useful comments and advice on the first draft of the manuscript. Z.K.-R., S.K., P.M., M.P., P.P., R.P., D.S., J.S., I.S., M.K.S., A.U. and K.U. were part of the OGLE team and helped to obtain the data.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to G. Terreran.

Electronic supplementary material

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Figures 1–4, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Text and Supplementary References.