Shock cooling of a red-supergiant supernova at redshift 3 in lensed images

Wenlei Chen, Patrick L. Kelly, Masamune Oguri, Thomas J. Broadhurst, Jose M. Diego, Najmeh Emami, Alexei V. Filippenko, Tommaso L. Treu, Adi Zitrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The core-collapse supernova of a massive star rapidly brightens when a shock, produced following the collapse of its core, reaches the stellar surface. As the shock-heated star subsequently expands and cools, its early-time light curve should have a simple dependence on the size of the progenitor1 and therefore final evolutionary state. Measurements of the radius of the progenitor from early light curves exist for only a small sample of nearby supernovae2–14, and almost all lack constraining ultraviolet observations within a day of explosion. The several-day time delays and magnifying ability of galaxy-scale gravitational lenses, however, should provide a powerful tool for measuring the early light curves of distant supernovae, and thereby studying massive stellar populations at high redshift. Here we analyse individual rest-frame exposures in the ultraviolet to the optical taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, which simultaneously capture, in three separate gravitationally lensed images, the early phases of a supernova at redshift z ≈ 3 beginning within 5.8 ± 3.1 hours of explosion. The supernova, seen at a lookback time of approximately 11.5 billion years, is strongly lensed by an early-type galaxy in the Abell 370 cluster. We constrain the pre-explosion radius to be 533−119+154 solar radii, consistent with a red supergiant. Highly confined and massive circumstellar material at the same radius can also reproduce the light curve, but because no similar low-redshift examples are known, this is unlikely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-259
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume611
Issue number7935
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the HST Cycle 27 Archival Research programme (grant AR-15791), as well as by GO-15936 and GO-16278. We utilize gravitational lensing models produced by the GLAFIC group. The lens modelling was partially funded by the HST Frontier Fields programme conducted by STScI. The lens models were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. Some of the observations reported here were obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona. The data presented here were obtained in part at the LBT Observatory. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the USA, Italy and Germany. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. We wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the Indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. P.L.K. is supported by US National Science Foundation (NSF) grant AST-1908823. J.M.D. acknowledges support from projects PGC2018-101814-B-100 and MDM-2017-0765. M.O. acknowledges support from World Premier International Research Center Initiative, MEXT, Japan, and JSPS KAKENHI grants JP20H00181, JP20H05856, JP22H01260 and JP18K03693. A.Z. acknowledges support by grant 2020750 from the USA–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and grant 2109066 from the US NSF, and by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel. A.V.F. is grateful for assistance from the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, the UC Berkeley Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (where he was a Miller Senior Fellow), and many individual donors. We acknowledge the help of W. Zheng with the Keck MOSFIRE observations.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the HST Cycle 27 Archival Research programme (grant AR-15791), as well as by GO-15936 and GO-16278. We utilize gravitational lensing models produced by the GLAFIC group. The lens modelling was partially funded by the HST Frontier Fields programme conducted by STScI. The lens models were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. Some of the observations reported here were obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona. The data presented here were obtained in part at the LBT Observatory. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the USA, Italy and Germany. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. We wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the Indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. P.L.K. is supported by US National Science Foundation (NSF) grant AST-1908823. J.M.D. acknowledges support from projects PGC2018-101814-B-100 and MDM-2017-0765. M.O. acknowledges support from World Premier International Research Center Initiative, MEXT, Japan, and JSPS KAKENHI grants JP20H00181, JP20H05856, JP22H01260 and JP18K03693. A.Z. acknowledges support by grant 2020750 from the USA–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and grant 2109066 from the US NSF, and by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel. A.V.F. is grateful for assistance from the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, the UC Berkeley Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (where he was a Miller Senior Fellow), and many individual donors. We acknowledge the help of W. Zheng with the Keck MOSFIRE observations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

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