Numerical simulations of superluminous supernovae of type IIn

Luc Dessart, Edouard Audit, and D. John Hillier, 2015, MNRAS, 449, 4304

We present numerical simulations that include 1D Eulerian multigroup radiation-hydrodynamics, 1D non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) radiative transfer, and 2D polarized radiative transfer for superluminous interacting supernovae (SNe). Our reference model is a ~10Msun inner shell with 1e51erg ramming into an ~3 Msun cold outer shell (the circumstellar medium, or CSM) that extends from 1e15 to 2e16 cm and moves at 100 km/. We discuss the light-curve evolution, which cannot be captured adequately with a grey approach. In this type of interactions, the shock-crossing time through the optically thick CSM is much longer than the photon diffusion time. Radiation is thus continuously leaking from the shock t hrough the CSM. This configuration is distinct from the shell-shocked model. Our spectra redden with time, with a peak distribution in the near-UV during the first month gradually shifting to the optical range over the following year. Initially, Balmer lines exhibit a narrow line core and the broad line wings that are characteristic of electron scattering in the SNe IIn atmospheres (CSM). At later times, they also exhibit a broad blue-shifted component which arises from the cold dense shell. Our model results are broadly consistent with the bolometric light curve and spectral evolution observed for SN 2010jl. Invoking a prolate pole-to-equator density ratio in the CSM, we can also reproduce the ~2 per cent continuum polarization, and line depolarization, observed in SN 2010jl. By varying the inner shell kinetic energy and the mass and extent of the outer shell, a large range of peak luminosities and durations, broadly compatible with superluminous SNe IIn like 2010jl or 2006gy, can be produced.

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The model spectra presented in the paper can be downloaded here: sn2010jl_model_spectra.tgz (16M).
The model light curves presented in the paper (shown in Fig. 20) can be downloaded here: lc.tgz (15M).