Estimating the first-light time of the type ia supernova 2014j in M82

Weikang Zheng, Isaac Shivvers, Alexei V. Filippenko, Koichi Itagaki, Kelsey I. Clubb, Ori D. Fox, Melissa L. Graham, Patrick L. Kelly, Jon C. Mauerhan

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The Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2014J in M82 (d 3.5 Mpc) was serendipitously discovered by S. Fossey's group on 2014 January 21 UT and has been confirmed to be the nearest known SN Ia since at least SN 1986G. Although SN 2014J was not discovered until 7 days after first light, both the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope at Lick Observatory and K. Itagaki obtained several prediscovery observations of SN 2014J. With these data, we are able to constrain the object's time of first light to be January 14.75 UT, only 0.82 ± 0.21 days before our first detection. Interestingly, we find that the light curve is well described by a varying power law, much like SN 2013dy, which makes SN 2014J the second example of a changing power law in early-time SN Ia light curves. A low-resolution spectrum taken on January 23.388 UT,8.70 days after first light, shows that SN 2014J is a heavily reddened but otherwise spectroscopically normal SN Ia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL24
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014


  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual (SN 2014J)


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