Early formation of carbon monoxide in the Centaurus A supernova SN 2016adj

D. P.K. Banerjee, Vishal Joshi, A. Evans, Mudit Srivastava, N. M. Ashok, R. D. Gehrz, M. S. Connelley, T. R. Geballe, J. Spyromilio, J. Rho, R. Roy

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7 Scopus citations


We present near-infrared spectroscopy of the NGC5128 supernova SN 2016adj in the first two months following discovery. We report the detection of first-overtone carbon monoxide emission at ~58.2 d after discovery, one of the earliest detections of CO in an erupting supernova. We model the CO emission to derive the CO mass, temperature, and velocity, assuming both pure 12CO and a composition that includes 13CO; the case for the latter is the isotopic analyses of meteoritic grains, which suggest that core-collapse supernovae can synthesize significant amounts of 13C. Ourmodels show that, while the CO data are adequately explained by pure 12CO, they do not preclude the presence of 13CO, to a limit of 12C/13C > 3, the first constraint on the 12C/13C ratio determined from near-infrared observations. We estimate the reddening to the object, and the effective temperature from the energy distribution at outburst. We discuss whether the ejecta of SN 2016adj may be carbon-rich, what the infrared data tell us about the classification of this supernova, and what implications the early formation of CO in supernovae may have for CO formation in supernovae in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-818
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 21 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
2IRAF is distributed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.


  • Infrared: stars
  • Supernovae: general
  • Supernovae: individual: SN 2016adj
  • Techniques: spectroscopic

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