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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Deaths of Massive Stars: Core-Collapse Supernovae and Pre-Explosion Mass Loss

  • Author(s): Shivvers, Isaac Steven
  • Advisor(s): Filippenko, Alexei
  • et al.

This thesis addresses some of the gaps in our current understanding of the deaths of massive stars using observations of supernovae (SNe) obtained at frequencies from the radio up to the ultraviolet. I use new data collected by myself and the other researchers in the Berkeley SN research group using telescopes at the Lick and Keck Observatories; new data collected by my collaborators using many different telescopes, from the Very Large Array to the Hubble Space Telescope; and every category of relevant archived data available. Most of this work is organized by event: SNe 1998S and 2011dh provide representative case studies of their types (the interacting Type IIn SNe and the stripped-envelope Type IIb SNe, respectively), and I use SNe 2015G and 2015U to explore the properties of the rare and confounding subclass of Type Ibn SNe (which are both stripped-envelope and interacting). In addition to these focused analyses of single SNe, I use a curated sample of events to refine our measures of the relative rates of core-collapse SNe in an effort to better understand the populations of massive stars from which these events arise.

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