Coronal lines and dust formation in SN 2005ip: Not the brightest, but the hottest type IIn supernova

Nathan Smith, Jeffrey M. Silverman, Ryan Chornock, Alexei V. Filippenko, Xiaofeng Wang, Weidong Li, Mohan Ganeshalingam, Ryan J. Foley, Jacob Rex, Thea N. Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


We present optical photometry and spectroscopy of SN 2005ip for the first 3 yr after discovery, showing an underlying Type II-L supernova (SN) interacting with a steady wind to yield an unusual Type IIn spectrum. For the first ∼160 days, it had a fast linear decline from a modest peak absolute magnitude of about -17.4 (unfiltered), followed by a plateau at roughly -14.8 for more than 2 yr. Initially having a normal broad-lined spectrum superposed with sparse narrow lines from the photoionized circumstellar medium (CSM), it quickly developed signs of strong CSM interaction with a spectrum similar to that of SN 1988Z. As the underlying SN II-L faded, SN 2005ip exhibited a rich high-ionization spectrum with a dense forest of narrow coronal lines, unprecedented among SNe but reminiscent of some active galactic nuclei. The line-profile evolution of SN 2005ip confirms that dust formation caused its recently reported infrared excess, but these lines reveal that it is the first SN to show clear evidence for dust in both the fast SN ejecta and the slower postshock gas. SN 2005ip's complex spectrum confirms the origin of the strange blue continuum in SN 2006jc, which also had postshock dust formation. We suggest that SN 2005ip's late-time plateau and coronal spectrum result from rejuvenated CSM interaction between a sustained fast shock and a clumpy stellar wind, where X-rays escape through the optically thin interclump regions to heat the preshock CSM to coronal temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1334-1350
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 20 2009


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Stars: mass loss
  • Stars: winds, outflows
  • Supernovae: individual (SN 2005ip)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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