SN 2021zny: an early flux excess combined with late-time oxygen emission suggests a double white dwarf merger event

May 2023 • 2023MNRAS.521.1162D

Authors • Dimitriadis, Georgios • Maguire, Kate • Karambelkar, Viraj R. • Lebron, Ryan J. • Liu, Chang • Kozyreva, Alexandra • Miller, Adam A. • Ridden-Harper, Ryan • Anderson, Joseph P. • Chen, Ting-Wan • Coughlin, Michael • Valle, Massimo Della • Drake, Andrew • Galbany, Lluís • Gromadzki, Mariusz • Groom, Steven L. • Gutiérrez, Claudia P. • Ihanec, Nada • Inserra, Cosimo • Johansson, Joel • Müller-Bravo, Tomás E. • Nicholl, Matt • Polin, Abigail • Rusholme, Ben • Schulze, Steve • Sollerman, Jesper • Srivastav, Shubham • Taggart, Kirsty • Wang, Qinan • Yang, Yi • Young, David R.

Abstract • We present a photometric and spectroscopic analysis of the ultraluminous and slowly evolving 03fg-like Type Ia SN 2021zny. Our observational campaign starts from ~5.3 h after explosion (making SN 2021zny one of the earliest observed members of its class), with dense multiwavelength coverage from a variety of ground- and space-based telescopes, and is concluded with a nebular spectrum ~10 months after peak brightness. SN 2021zny displayed several characteristics of its class, such as the peak brightness (MB = -19.95 mag), the slow decline (Δm15(B) = 0.62 mag), the blue early-time colours, the low ejecta velocities, and the presence of significant unburned material above the photosphere. However, a flux excess for the first ~1.5 d after explosion is observed in four photometric bands, making SN 2021zny the third 03fg-like event with this distinct behaviour, while its +313 d spectrum shows prominent [O I] lines, a very unusual characteristic of thermonuclear SNe. The early flux excess can be explained as the outcome of the interaction of the ejecta with $\sim 0.04\, \mathrm{M_{\odot }}$ of H/He-poor circumstellar material at a distance of ~1012 cm, while the low ionization state of the late-time spectrum reveals low abundances of stable iron-peak elements. All our observations are in accordance with a progenitor system of two carbon/oxygen white dwarfs that undergo a merger event, with the disrupted white dwarf ejecting carbon-rich circumstellar material prior to the primary white dwarf detonation.


IPAC Authors

Ben Rusholme

Chief Engineer