SN 2014C: VLBI images of a supernova interacting with a circumstellar shell

Michael F. Bietenholz*, Atish Kamble, Raffaella Margutti, Danny Milisavljevic, Alicia Soderberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We report on very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) measurements of supernova 2014C at several epochs between t = 384 and 1057 d after the explosion. SN 2014C was an unusual supernova that initially had Type Ib optical spectrum, but after t = 130 d it developed a Type IIn spectrum with prominent Ha lines, suggesting the onset of strong circumstellar interaction. Our first VLBI observation was at t=384 d, and we find that the outer radius of SN 2014C was (6.40 ± 0.26) × 1016 cm (for a distance of 15.1Mpc), implying an average expansion velocity of 19 300 ± 790 km s-1 up to that time. At our last epoch, SN 2014C was moderately resolved and shows an approximately circular outline but with an enhancement of the brightness on the W side. The outer radius of the radio emission at t = 1057 d is (14.9 ± 0.6) × 1016 cm. We find that the expansion between t = 384 and 1057 d is well described by a constant velocity expansion with v=13 600±650 km s-1. SN 2014C had clearly been substantially decelerated by t = 384 d. Our measurements are compatible with a scenario where the expanding shock impacted upon a shell of dense circumstellar material during the first year, as suggested by the observations at other wavelengths, but had progressed through the dense shell by the time of the VLBI observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1756-1764
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Radio continuum: general
  • Supernovae: individual: SN 2014C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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