An outburst from a massive star 40?days before a supernova explosion

Ofek, E. O.; Sullivan, M.; Cenko, S. B.; Kasliwal, M. M.; Gal-Yam, A.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Arcavi, I.; Bildsten, L.; Bloom, J. S.; Horesh, A.; Howell, D. A.; Filippenko, A. V.; Laher, R.; Murray, D.; Nakar, E.; Nugent, P. E.; Silverman, J. M.; Shaviv, N. J.; Surace, J.; Yaron, O.
February 2013
Nature;2/7/2013, Vol. 494 Issue 7435, p65
Academic Journal
Some observations suggest that very massive stars experience extreme mass-loss episodes shortly before they explode as supernovae, as do several models. Establishing a causal connection between these mass-loss episodes and the final explosion would provide a novel way to study pre-supernova massive-star evolution. Here we report observations of a mass-loss event detected 40?days before the explosion of the type?IIn supernova SN?2010mc (also known as PTF?10tel). Our photometric and spectroscopic data suggest that this event is a result of an energetic outburst, radiating at least 6?×?1047?erg of energy and releasing about 10?2 solar masses of material at typical velocities of 2,000?km?s?1. The temporal proximity of the mass-loss outburst and the supernova explosion implies a causal connection between them. Moreover, we find that the outburst luminosity and velocity are consistent with the predictions of the wave-driven pulsation model, and disfavour alternative suggestions.


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