Thursday, July 4, 2013

1307.0563 (Michael J. Childress et al.)

High-Velocity Features in Type Ia Supernova Spectra    [PDF]

Michael J. Childress, Alexei V. Filippenko, Mohan Ganeshalingam, Brian P. Schmidt
We use a sample of 58 low-redshift (z <= 0.03) Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) having well-sampled light curves and spectra near maximum light to examine the behaviour of high-velocity features (HVFs) in SN Ia spectra. We take advantage of the fact that Si II 6355 exhibits no HVFs at maximum light in any SNe Ia, while HVFs are still strong in the Ca II near-infrared feature in many SNe, allowing us to quantify the strength of HVFs by comparing the structure of these two lines. We find that the average HVF strength increases with decreasing light-curve decline rate, and rapidly declining SNe Ia (dm_15(B) >= 1.4 mag) show no HVFs in their maximum-light spectra. Comparison of HVF strength to the light-curve colour of the SNe Ia in our sample shows no evidence of correlation. We find a correlation of HVF strength with the velocity of Si II 6355 at maximum light (v_Si), such that SNe Ia with lower v_Si have stronger HVFs, while those SNe Ia firmly in the "high-velocity" (i.e., v_Si >= 12,000 km/s) subclass exhibit no HVFs in their maximum-light spectra. While v_Si and dm_15(B) show no correlation in the full sample of SNe Ia, we find a significant correlation between these quantities in the subset of SNe Ia having weak HVFs. In general, we find that slowly declining (low dm_15(B)) SNe Ia, which are more luminous and more energetic than average SNe Ia, tend to produce either high photospheric ejecta velocities (i.e., high v_Si) or strong HVFs at maximum light, but not both. Finally, we examine the evolution of HVF strength for a sample of SNe Ia having extensive pre-maximum spectroscopic coverage and find significant diversity of the pre-maximum HVF behaviour.
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