Evidence for a Pulsar Wind Nebula in the Type Ib Peculiar Supernova SN 2012au

Dan Milisavljevic, Daniel J. Patnaude, Roger A. Chevalier, John C. Raymond, Robert A. Fesen, Raffaella Margutti, Brody Conner, John Banovetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present an optical spectrum of the energetic Type Ib supernova (SN) 2012au obtained at an unprecedented epoch of 6.2 yr after explosion. Forbidden transition emission lines of oxygen and sulfur are detected with expansion velocities of ≈2300 km s-1. The lack of narrow H Balmer lines suggests that interaction with circumstellar material is not a dominant source of the observed late-time emission. We also present a deep Chandra observation that reveals no X-ray emission down to a luminosity of L X < 2 × 1038 erg s-1 (0.5-10 keV). Our findings are consistent with the notion that SN 2012au is associated with a diverse subset of SNe, including long-duration gamma-ray burst SNe and superluminous SNe, harboring pulsar/magnetar wind nebulae that influence core-collapse explosion dynamics on a wide range of energy scales. We hypothesize that these systems may all evolve into a similar late-time phase dominated by forbidden oxygen transitions, and predict that emission line widths should remain constant or broaden a few percent per year due to the acceleration of ejecta by the pulsar/magnetar bubble.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL36
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 10 2018


  • pulsars: general
  • stars: magnetars
  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual (SN 2012au)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence for a Pulsar Wind Nebula in the Type Ib Peculiar Supernova SN 2012au'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this