After the fall: Late-time spectroscopy of type IIP supernovae

Jeffrey M. Silverman*, Stephanie Pickett, J. Craig Wheeler, Alexei V. Filippenko, József Vinkó, G. H. Marion, S. Bradley Cenko, Ryan Chornock, Kelsey I. Clubb, Ryan J. Foley, Melissa L. Graham, Patrick L. Kelly, Thomas Matheson, Joseph C. Shields

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Herein we analyse late-time (post-plateau; 103 < t < 1229 d) optical spectra of low-redshift (z < 0.016), hydrogen-rich Type IIP supernovae (SNe IIP). Our newly constructed sample contains 91 nebular spectra of 38 SNe IIP, which is the largest data set of its kind ever analysed in one study, and many of the objects have complementary photometric data. The strongest and most robust result we find is that the luminosities of all spectral features (except those of helium) tend to be higher in objects with steeper late-time V-band decline rates. A steep late-time V-band slope likely arises from less efficient trapping of γ-rays and positrons, which could be caused by multidimensional effects such as clumping of the ejecta or asphericity of the explosion itself. Furthermore, if γ-rays and positrons can escape more easily, then so can photons via the observed emission lines, leading to more luminous spectral features. It is also shown that SNe IIP with larger progenitor stars have ejecta with a more physically extended oxygen layer that is well-mixed with the hydrogen layer. In addition, we find a subset of objects with evidence for asymmetric 56Ni ejection, likely bipolar in shape. We also compare our observations to theoretical late-time spectral models of SNe IIP from two separate groups and find moderate-to-good agreement with both sets of models. Our SNe IIP spectra are consistent with models of 12-15 M☉ progenitor stars having relatively low metallicity (Z ≤ 0.01).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-411
Number of pages43
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Methods: data analysis
  • Supernovae: general
  • Techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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