Selecting superluminous supernovae in faint galaxies from the first year of the Pan-STARRS1 medium deep survey

M. McCrum*, S. J. Smartt, A. Rest, K. Smith, R. Kotak, S. A. Rodney, D. R. Young, R. Chornock, E. Berger, R. J. Foley, M. Fraser, D. Wright, D. Scolnic, J. L. Tonry, Y. Urata, K. Huang, A. Pastorello, M. T. Botticella, S. Valenti, S. MattilaE. Kankare, D. J. Farrow, M. E. Huber, C. W. Stubbs, R. P. Kirshner, F. Bresolin, W. S. Burgett, K. C. Chambers, P. W. Draper, H. Flewelling, R. Jedicke, N. Kaiser, E. A. Magnier, N. Metcalfe, J. S. Morgan, P. A. Price, W. Sweeney, R. J. Wainscoat, C. Waters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) survey has obtained imaging in five bands (grizyP1) over 10Medium Deep Survey (MDS) fields covering a total of 70 square degrees. This paper describes the search for apparently hostless supernovae (SNe) within the first year of PS1 MDS data with an aim of discovering superluminous supernovae (SLSNe). A total of 249 hostless transients were discovered down to a limiting magnitude of MAB 23.5, of which 76 were classified as Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). There were 57 SNe with complete light curves that are likely core-collapse SNe (CCSNe) or type Ic SLSNe and 12 of these have had spectra taken. Of these 12 hostless, non-Type Ia SNe, 7 were SLSNe of type Ic at redshifts between 0.5 and 1.4. This illustrates that the discovery rate of type Ic SLSNe can be maximized by concentrating on hostless transients and removing normal SNe Ia. We present data for two possible SLSNe; PS1-10pm (z = 1.206) and PS1-10ahf (z = 1.1), and estimate the rate of type Ic SLSNe to be between 3+3 -2 × 10-5 and 8+2 -1 × 10-5 that of the CCSN rate within 0.3 ≤ z ≤ 1.4 by applying a Monte Carlo technique. The rate of slowly evolving, type Ic SLSNe (such as SN2007bi) is estimated as a factor of 10 lower than this range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1206-1231
Number of pages26
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 20 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • General - supernovae
  • Individual
  • Individual
  • PS1-10ahf
  • PS1-10pm - supernovae
  • Supernovae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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