Constraints on the Progenitor of SN 2010jl and Pre-existing Hot Dust in its Surrounding Medium

Eli Dwek, Richard G. Arendt, Ori D. Fox, Patrick L. Kelly, Nathan Smith, Schuyler D.Van Dyk, Alexei V. Filippenko, Jennifer Andrews, Isaac Shivvers

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A search for the progenitor of SN 2010jl, an unusually luminous core-collapse supernova of Type IIn, using pre-explosion Hubble/WFPC2 and Spitzer/IRAC images of the region, yielded upper limits on the UV and near-infrared (IR) fluxes from any candidate star. These upper limits constrain the luminosity and effective temperature of the progenitor, the mass of any pre-existing dust in its surrounding circumstellar medium (CSM), and dust proximity to the star. A lower limit on the CSM dust mass is required to hide a luminous progenitor from detection by Hubble. Upper limits on the CSM dust mass and constraints on its proximity to the star are set by requiring that the absorbed and reradiated IR emission not exceed the IRAC upper limits. Using the combined extinction-IR emission constraints, we present viable combinations, where M d and R 1 are the CSM dust mass and its inner radius. These depend on the CSM outer radius, dust composition and grain size, and the properties of the progenitor. The results constrain the pre-supernova evolution of the progenitor, and the nature and origin of the observed post-explosion IR emission from SN 2010jl. In particular, an η Car-type progenitor will require at least 4 mag of visual extinction to avoid detection by Hubble. This can be achieved with dust masses (less than the estimated 0.2-0.5 around η Car), which must be located at distances of cm from the star to avoid detection by Spitzer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number91
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
E.D. and R.G.A. acknowledge NASA’s 16-ATP2016-0004 grant for support on this project. A.V.F.ʼs group is grateful for generous financial assistance from the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, the TABASGO Foundation, NSF grant AST-1211916, and the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (UC Berkeley) Support was also provided by NASA through HST grants GO-14149 and GO-14668 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. The work of A.V.F. was completed in part at the Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by NSF grant PHY-1607611; he thanks the Center for its hospitality during the neutron stars workshop in 2017 June and July.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


  • circumstellar matter
  • dust, extinction
  • infrared: stars
  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual (SN 2010jl)


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