The host galaxy and late-time evolution of the superluminous supernova PTF12dam

T. W. Chen, S. J. Smartt, A. Jerkstrand, M. Nicholl, F. Bresolin, R. Kotak, J. Polshaw, A. Rest, R. Kudritzki, Z. Zheng, N. Elias-Rosa, K. Smith, C. Inserra, D. Wright, E. Kankare, T. Kangas, M. Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) of Type Ic have a tendency to occur in faint host galaxies which are likely to have low mass and low metallicity. PTF12dam is one of the closest and best-studied superluminous explosions that has a broad and slowly fading light curve similar to SN 2007bi. Here we present new photometry and spectroscopy for PTF12dam from 200-500 d (rest frame) after peak and a detailed analysis of the host galaxy (SDSS J142446.21+461348.6 at z = 0.107). Using deep templates and image subtraction we show that the light curve can be fit with a magnetar model if escape of high-energy gamma rays is taken into account. The full bolometric light curve from -53 to +399 d (with respect to peak) cannot be fit satisfactorily with the pair-instability models. An alternative model of interaction with a dense circumstellar material (CSM) produces a good fit to the data although this requires a very large mass (~13 M·) of hydrogen-free CSM. The host galaxy is a compact dwarf (physical size~1.9 kpc) and with Mg=-19.33±0.10, it is the brightest nearby SLSN Ic host discovered so far. The host is a low-mass system (2.8×108 M·) with a star formation rate (5.0M· yr-1), which implies a very high specific star formation rate (17.9 Gyr-1). The remarkably strong nebular emission provide detections of the [OIII] λ4363 and [O II] λλ7320, 7330auroral lines and an accurate oxygen abundance of 12 + log (O/H) = 8.05 ± 0.09. We show here that they are at the extreme end of the metallicity distribution of dwarf galaxies and propose that low metallicity is a requirement to produce these rare and peculiar SNe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1567-1586
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 11 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors.


  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Supernovae: general
  • Supernovae: individual: PTF12dam


Dive into the research topics of 'The host galaxy and late-time evolution of the superluminous supernova PTF12dam'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this