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The superluminous supernova PS1-11ap: bridging the gap between low and high redshift

McCrum, M.; Smartt, S.J.; Kotak, R.; Rest, A.; Jerkstrand, A.; Inserra, C.; Rodney, S.A.; Chen, T. -W.; Howell, D.A.; Huber, M.E.; Pastorello, A.; Tonry, J.L.; Bresolin, F.; Kudritzki, R. -P.; Chornock, R.; Berger, E.; Smith, K.; Botticella, M.T.; Foley, R.J.; Fraser, M.; Milisavljevic, D.; Nicholl, M.; Riess, A.G.; Stubbs, C.W.; Valenti, S.; Wood-Vasey, W.M.; Wright, D.; Young, D.R.; Drout, M.; Czekala, I.; Burgett, W.S.; Chambers, K.C.; Draper, P.; Flewelling, H.; Hodapp, K.W.; Kaiser, N.; Magnier, E.A.; Metcalfe, N.; Price, P.A.; Sweeney, W.; Wainscoat, R.J.

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M. McCrum

S.J. Smartt

R. Kotak

A. Rest

A. Jerkstrand

C. Inserra

S.A. Rodney

T. -W. Chen

D.A. Howell

M.E. Huber

A. Pastorello

J.L. Tonry

F. Bresolin

R. -P. Kudritzki

R. Chornock

E. Berger

K. Smith

M.T. Botticella

R.J. Foley

M. Fraser

D. Milisavljevic

M. Nicholl

A.G. Riess

C.W. Stubbs

S. Valenti

W.M. Wood-Vasey

D. Wright

D.R. Young

M. Drout

I. Czekala

W.S. Burgett

K.C. Chambers

H. Flewelling

K.W. Hodapp

N. Kaiser

E.A. Magnier

P.A. Price

W. Sweeney

R.J. Wainscoat


We present optical photometric and spectroscopic coverage of the superluminous supernova (SLSN) PS1-11ap, discovered with the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey at z = 0.524. This intrinsically blue transient rose slowly to reach a peak magnitude of Mu = −21.4 mag and bolometric luminosity of 8 × 1043 erg s−1 before settling on to a relatively shallow gradient of decline. The observed decline is significantly slower than those of the SLSNe-Ic which have been the focus of much recent attention. Spectroscopic similarities with the lower redshift SN2007bi and a decline rate similar to 56Co decay time-scale initially indicated that this transient could be a candidate for a pair instability supernova (PISN) explosion. Overall the transient appears quite similar to SN2007bi and the lower redshift object PTF12dam. The extensive data set, from 30 d before peak to 230 d after, allows a detailed and quantitative comparison with published models of PISN explosions. We find that the PS1-11ap data do not match these model explosion parameters well, supporting the recent claim that these SNe are not pair instability explosions. We show that PS1-11ap has many features in common with the faster declining SLSNe-Ic, and the light-curve evolution can also be quantitatively explained by the magnetar spin-down model. At a redshift of z = 0.524, the observer-frame optical coverage provides comprehensive rest-frame UV data and allows us to compare it with the SLSNe recently found at high redshifts between z = 2 and 4. While these high-z explosions are still plausible PISN candidates, they match the photometric evolution of PS1-11ap and hence could be counterparts to this lower redshift transient.


McCrum, M., Smartt, S., Kotak, R., Rest, A., Jerkstrand, A., Inserra, C., …Wainscoat, R. (2014). The superluminous supernova PS1-11ap: bridging the gap between low and high redshift. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 437(1), 656-674.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Apr 3, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jun 19, 2014
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 437
Issue 1
Pages 656-674
Keywords Supernovae: general, Supernovae: individual: PS1-11ap


Published Journal Article (1.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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