Toward characterization of the type IIP supernova progenitor population: A statistical sample of light curves from pan-starrs1

N. E. Sanders, A. M. Soderberg, S. Gezari, M. Betancourt, R. Chornock, E. Berger, R. J. Foley, P. Challis, M. Drout, R. P. Kirshner, R. Lunnan, G. H. Marion, R. Margutti, R. McKinnon, D. Milisavljevic, G. Narayan, A. Rest, E. Kankare, S. Mattila, S. J. SmarttM. E. Huber, W. S. Burgett, P. W. Draper, K. W. Hodapp, N. Kaiser, R. P. Kudritzki, E. A. Magnier, N. Metcalfe, J. S. Morgan, P. A. Price, J. L. Tonry, R. J. Wainscoat, C. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


In recent years, wide-field sky surveys providing deep multiband imaging have presented a new path for indirectly characterizing the progenitor populations of core-collapse supernovae (SNe): systematic light-curve studies. We assemble a set of 76 grizy-band Type IIP SN light curves from Pan-STARRS1, obtained over a constant survey program of 4 yr and classified using both spectroscopy and machine-learning-based photometric techniques. We develop and apply a new Bayesian model for the full multiband evolution of each light curve in the sample. We find no evidence of a subpopulation of fast-declining explosions (historically referred to as "Type IIL" SNe). However, we identify a highly significant relation between the plateau phase decay rate and peak luminosity among our SNe IIP. These results argue in favor of a single parameter, likely determined by initial stellar mass, predominantly controlling the explosions of red supergiants. This relation could also be applied for SN cosmology, offering a standardizable candle good to an intrinsic scatter of ≲ 0.2 mag. We compare each light curve to physical models from hydrodynamic simulations to estimate progenitor initial masses and other properties of the Pan-STARRS1 Type IIP SN sample. We show that correction of systematic discrepancies between modeled and observed SN IIP light-curve properties and an expanded grid of progenitor properties are needed to enable robust progenitor inferences from multiband light-curve samples of this kind. This work will serve as a pathfinder for photometric studies of core-collapse SNe to be conducted through future wide-field transient searches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number208
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • supernovae: general
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward characterization of the type IIP supernova progenitor population: A statistical sample of light curves from pan-starrs1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this