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Supernova PTF 12glz: A Possible Shock Breakout Driven through an Aspherical Wind

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We present visible-light and ultraviolet (UV) observations of the supernova PTF 12glz. The SN was discovered and monitored in the near-UV and R bands as part of a joint GALEX and Palomar Transient Factory campaign. It is among the most energetic SNe IIn observed to date (≈10 51 erg). If the radiated energy mainly came from the thermalization of the shock kinetic energy, we show that PTF 12glz was surrounded by ∼1 M of circumstellar material (CSM) prior to its explosive death. PTF 12glz shows a puzzling peculiarity: at early times, while the freely expanding ejecta are presumably masked by the optically thick CSM, the radius of the blackbody that best fits the observations grows at ≈7000 km s -1 . Such a velocity is characteristic of fast moving ejecta rather than optically thick CSM. This phase of radial expansion takes place before any spectroscopic signature of expanding ejecta appears in the spectrum and while both the spectroscopic data and the bolometric luminosity seem to indicate that the CSM is optically thick. We propose a geometrical solution to this puzzle, involving an aspherical structure of the CSM around PTF 12glz. By modeling radiative diffusion through a slab of CSM, we show that an aspherical geometry of the CSM can result in a growing effective radius. This simple model also allows us to recover the decreasing blackbody temperature of PTF 12glz. SLAB-Diffusion, the code we wrote to model the radiative diffusion of photons through a slab of CSM and evaluate the observed radius and temperature, is made available online.

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