Final Moments. I. Precursor Emission, Envelope Inflation, and Enhanced Mass Loss Preceding the Luminous Type II Supernova 2020tlf

W. V. Jacobson-Galán, L. Dessart, D. O. Jones, R. Margutti, D. L. Coppejans, G. Dimitriadis, R. J. Foley, C. D. Kilpatrick, D. J. Matthews, S. Rest, G. Terreran, P. D. Aleo, K. Auchettl, P. K. Blanchard, D. A. Coulter, K. W. Davis, T. J.L. De Boer, L. Demarchi, M. R. Drout, N. EarlA. Gagliano, C. Gall, J. Hjorth, M. E. Huber, A. L. Ibik, D. Milisavljevic, Y. C. Pan, A. Rest, R. Ridden-Harper, C. Rojas-Bravo, M. R. Siebert, K. W. Smith, K. Taggart, S. Tinyanont, Q. Wang, Y. Zenati

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Abstract

We present panchromatic observations and modeling of supernova (SN) 2020tlf, the first normal Type II-P/L SN with confirmed precursor emission, as detected by the Young Supernova Experiment transient survey. Pre-SN activity was detected in riz-bands at -130 days and persisted at relatively constant flux until first light. Soon after discovery, "flash"spectroscopy of SN 2020tlf revealed narrow, symmetric emission lines that resulted from the photoionization of circumstellar material (CSM) shed in progenitor mass-loss episodes before explosion. Surprisingly, this novel display of pre-SN emission and associated mass loss occurred in a red supergiant (RSG) progenitor with zero-age main-sequence mass of only 10-12 M o˙, as inferred from nebular spectra. Modeling of the light curve and multi-epoch spectra with the non-LTE radiative-transfer code CMFGEN and radiation-hydrodynamical code HERACLES suggests a dense CSM limited to r ≈ 1015 cm, and mass-loss rate of 10-2 M o˙ yr-1. The luminous light-curve plateau and persistent blue excess indicates an extended progenitor, compatible with an RSG model with R ∗ = 1100 R o˙. Limits on the shock-powered X-ray and radio luminosity are consistent with model conclusions and suggest a CSM density of ρ < 2 × 10-16 g cm-3 for distances from the progenitor star of r ≈ 5 × 1015 cm, as well as a mass-loss rate of at larger distances. A promising power source for the observed precursor emission is the ejection of stellar material following energy disposition into the stellar envelope as a result of gravity waves emitted during either neon/oxygen burning or a nuclear flash from silicon combustion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume924
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

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