Late-time Observations of Calcium-rich Transient SN 2019ehk Reveal a Pure Radioactive Decay Power Source

Wynn V. Jacobson-Galán*, Raffaella Margutti, Charles D. Kilpatrick, John Raymond, Edo Berger, Peter K. Blanchard, Alexey Bobrick, Ryan J. Foley, Sebastian Gomez, Griffin Hosseinzadeh, Danny Milisavljevic, Hagai Perets, Giacomo Terreran, Yossef Zenati

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present multiband Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the calcium-rich supernova (SN) SN 2019ehk at 276-389 days after explosion. These observations represent the latest B-band to near-IR photometric measurements of a calcium-rich transient to date and allow for the first opportunity to analyze the late-time bolometric evolution of an object in this observational SN class. We find that the late-time bolometric light curve of SN 2019ehk can be described predominantly through the radioactive decay of 56Co for which we derive a mass of M(56Co) = (2.8 ± 0.1) × 10-2 M o. Furthermore, the rate of decline in bolometric luminosity requires the leakage of γ-rays on timescale t γ = 53.9 ± 1.30 days, but we find no statistical evidence for incomplete positron trapping in the SN ejecta. While our observations cannot constrain the exact masses of other radioactive isotopes synthesized in SN 2019ehk, we estimate a mass ratio limit of M(57Co)/M(56Co) ≤ 0.030. This limit is consistent with the explosive nucleosynthesis produced in the merger of low-mass white dwarfs, which is one of the favored progenitor scenarios in early-time studies of SN 2019ehk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL32
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume908
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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