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Science. 2016 Jan 15;351(6270):257-60. doi: 10.1126/science.aac9613.

Astronomy. ASASSN-15lh: A highly super-luminous supernova.

Author information

1
Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Yi He Yuan Road 5, Hai Dian District, Beijing 100871, China. dongsubo@pku.edu.cn.
2
Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA.
3
Núcleo de Astronomía de la Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejército 441, Santiago, Chile. Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Santiago, Chile.
4
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
5
Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), The Ohio State University, 191 W. Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
6
Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Observatories, Casilla 601, La Serena, Chile.
7
Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
8
Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), The Ohio State University, 191 W. Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. Department of Physics, The Ohio State University, 191 W. Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
9
Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, 146 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L3 5RF, UK.
10
Coral Towers Observatory, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia.
11
INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, Via S.Sofia 78, 95123, Catania, Italy.
12
Department of Astronomy, Peking University, Yi He Yuan Road 5, Hai Dian District, 100871, P. R. China.
13
Association Francaise des Observateurs d'Etoiles Variables (AFOEV), Observatoire de Strasbourg 11, rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France.
14
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
15
Department of Earth and Space Science, Morehead State University, 235 Martindale Drive, Morehead, KY 40351, USA.
16
Variable Star Observers League in Japan (VSOLJ), 7-1 Kitahatsutomi, Kamagaya, Chiba 273-0126, Japan.
17
The Virtual Telescope Project, Via Madonna de Loco 47, 03023 Ceccano, Italy.
18
Mt Vernon Observatory, 6 Mt Vernon pl, Nelson, New Zealand.
19
Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Santiago, Chile. Departamento Ciencias Fisicas, Universidad Andres Bello, Av. Republica 252, Santiago, Chile.
20
Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warsaw, Poland.
21
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mail Stop B244, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.

Abstract

We report the discovery of ASASSN-15lh (SN 2015L), which we interpret as the most luminous supernova yet found. At redshift z = 0.2326, ASASSN-15lh reached an absolute magnitude of Mu ,AB = -23.5 ± 0.1 and bolometric luminosity Lbol = (2.2 ± 0.2) × 10(45) ergs s(-1), which is more than twice as luminous as any previously known supernova. It has several major features characteristic of the hydrogen-poor super-luminous supernovae (SLSNe-I), whose energy sources and progenitors are currently poorly understood. In contrast to most previously known SLSNe-I that reside in star-forming dwarf galaxies, ASASSN-15lh appears to be hosted by a luminous galaxy (MK ≈ -25.5) with little star formation. In the 4 months since first detection, ASASSN-15lh radiated (1.1 ± 0.2) × 10(52) ergs, challenging the magnetar model for its engine.

PMID:
26816375
DOI:
10.1126/science.aac9613
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