Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Dirk Grupe

Document Type


Publication Date



ASASSN-18am/SN 2018gk is a newly discovered member of the rare group of luminous, hydrogen-rich supernovae (SNe) with a peak absolute magnitude of ๐‘€๐‘‰ 20 mag that is in between normal core-collapse SNe and superluminous SNe. These SNe show no prominent spectroscopic signatures of ejecta interacting with circumstellar material (CSM), and their powering mechanism is debated. ASASSN-18am declines extremely rapidly for a Type II SN, with a photospheric-phase decline rate of 60 mag (100 d)1. Owing to the weakening of Hi and the appearance of He i in its later phases, ASASSN-18am is spectroscopically a Type IIb SN with a partially stripped envelope. However, its photometric and spectroscopic evolution show significant differences from typical SNe IIb. Using a radiative diffusion model, we find that the light curve requires a high synthesised 56Ni mass ๐‘€Ni 04M and ejecta with high kinetic energy ๐ธkin = (7โ€“10) 1051 erg. Introducing a magnetar central engine still requires ๐‘€Ni 03M and ๐ธkin = 31051 erg. The high 56Ni mass is consistent with strong iron-group nebular lines in its spectra, which are also similar to several SNe Ic-BL with high 56Ni yields. The earliest spectrum shows โ€œflash ionisation" features, from which we estimate a mass-loss rate of ยค ๐‘€ 2 104M yr1. This wind density is too low to power the luminous light curve by ejecta-CSM interaction. We measure expansion velocities as high as 17 000 km s1 for H, which is remarkably high compared to other SNe II. We estimate an oxygen core mass of 1.8โ€“3.4M using the [O i] luminosity measured from a nebular-phase spectrum, implying a progenitor with a zero-age main sequence mass of 19โ€“26M.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.