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Open Access Publications from the University of California

SN 2012fr: Ultraviolet, Optical, and Near-infrared Light Curves of a Type Ia Supernova Observed within a Day of Explosion

  • Author(s): Contreras, C;
  • Phillips, MM;
  • Burns, CR;
  • Piro, AL;
  • Shappee, BJ;
  • Stritzinger, MD;
  • Baltay, C;
  • Brown, PJ;
  • Conseil, E;
  • Klotz, A;
  • Nugent, PE;
  • Turpin, D;
  • Parker, S;
  • Rabinowitz, D;
  • Hsiao, EY;
  • Morrell, N;
  • Campillay, A;
  • Castellón, S;
  • Corco, C;
  • González, C;
  • Krisciunas, K;
  • Serón, J;
  • Tucker, BE;
  • Walker, ES;
  • Baron, E;
  • Cain, C;
  • Childress, MJ;
  • Folatelli, G;
  • Freedman, WL;
  • Hamuy, M;
  • Hoeflich, P;
  • Persson, SE;
  • Scalzo, R;
  • Schmidt, B;
  • Suntzeff, NB
  • et al.

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We present detailed ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared light curves of the Type Ia supernova (SN) 2012fr, which exploded in the Fornax cluster member NGC 1365. These precise high-cadence light curves provide a dense coverage of the flux evolution from -12 to +140 days with respect to the epoch of B-band maximum (). Supplementary imaging at the earliest epochs reveals an initial slow and nearly linear rise in luminosity with a duration of ∼2.5 days, followed by a faster rising phase that is well reproduced by an explosion model with a moderate amount of 56Ni mixing in the ejecta. From our analysis of the light curves, we conclude that: (i) the explosion occurred <22 hr before the first detection of the supernova, (ii) the rise time to peak bolometric (λ > 1800) luminosity was 16.5 ±0.6 days, (iii) the supernova suffered little or no host-galaxy dust reddening, (iv) the peak luminosity in both the optical and near-infrared was consistent with the bright end of normal Type Ia diversity, and (v) 0.60 ±0.15 M o of 56Ni was synthesized in the explosion. Despite its normal luminosity, SN 2012fr displayed unusually prevalent high-velocity Ca ii and Si ii absorption features, and a nearly constant photospheric velocity of the Si ii λ6355 line at ∼12,000 that began ∼5 days before . We also highlight some of the other peculiarities in the early phase photometry and the spectral evolution. SN 2012fr also adds to a growing number of Type Ia supernovae that are hosted by galaxies with direct Cepheid distance measurements.

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