An international team of researchers has made high-rate photometric and spectroscopic observations of a Type II supernova known as SN 2020jfo. The results of the observation campaign, presented on November 5 on arXiv.org, provide important information on the nature and properties of this supernova.
Type II supernovae (SNe) are the result of rapid collapse and violent explosion of massive stars (with masses greater than 8.0 solar masses). They are distinguished from other SNe by the presence of hydrogen in their spectra. Based on the shape of their light curves, they are generally divided into Type IIL and Type IIP. Type IIL SNe exhibits a steady (linear) decline after the explosion, while type IIP exhibits a period of slower decline (a plateau) followed by a normal decay.
SN 2020jfo (also known as ZTF20aaynrrh) was detected with the 48-inch Palomar Schmidt Samuel Oschin Telescope on May 6, 2020, as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) survey. It exploded on the outskirts of the spiral galaxy M61, located some 47.3 million light-years away. SN 2020jfo was classified as a Type II SN based on spectra from the Liverpool Telescope (LT) and the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT), acquired 17 hours after detection.
In order to shed light on the nature of SN 2020jfo, a group of astronomers led by Bhavya Ailawadhi from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences in India, started high-rate photometric and spectroscopic observation of this SN in ultraviolet, optical and near. – infrared bands, three days after the explosion. For this purpose, they used NASA’s Swift spacecraft and an array of various ground-based observing facilities around the world.
“We present high-rate photometric and spectroscopic observations of SN 2020jfo in the ultraviolet and optical/near-infrared bands from ∼3 to ∼434 days after the explosion, including the first data with the 10.4m GTC [Gran Telescopio Canarias]“, wrote the researchers in the paper.
Observations revealed that the plateau phase after the explosion was relatively short as it lasted around 67 days. It was noted that unlike other SNe IIs with a shorter plateau duration, SN 2020jfo is fainter, with a maximum V-band absolute magnitude of −16.90 mag.
The results indicate that despite the shorter plateau duration in SN 2020jfo, the absorption characteristics of neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) in its plateau phase spectra are remarkably strong, suggesting a relatively high. Moreover, the spectra of SN 2020jfo show strong metallic lines compared to other SNe IIs at similar epochs and with comparable plateau lengths.
According to the researchers, the progenitor mass of SN 2020jfo is most likely between 12 and 15 solar masses, while its ejecta mass, at a level of 13.6 solar masses, was found to be much greater than that of Type II. SNe. Overall, the study authors concluded that although SN 2020jfo has a short plateau length, its parameters are more similar to normal SNe IIP.
B. Ailawadhi et al, Photometric and spectroscopic analysis of type II SN 2020jfo with a short plate, arXiv (2022). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2211.02823
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