Ground-based and JWST Observations of SN 2022pul. II. Evidence from Nebular Spectroscopy for a Violent Merger in a Peculiar Type-Ia Supernova

Lindsey A. Kwok, Matthew R. Siebert, Joel Johansson, Saurabh W. Jha, Stephane Blondin, Luc Dessart, Ryan J. Foley, D. John Hillier, Conor Larison, Ruediger Pakmor, Tea Temim, Jennifer E. Andrews, Katie Auchettl, Carles Badenes, Barnabas Barna, K. Azalee Bostroem, Max J. Brenner Newman, Thomas G. Brink, Maria Jose Bustamante-Rosell, Yssavo Camacho-NevesAlejandro Clocchiatti, David A. Coulter, Kyle W. Davis, Maxime Deckers, Georgios Dimitriadis, Yize Dong, Joseph Farah, Alexei V. Filippenko, Andreas Flors, Ori D. Fox, Peter Garnavich, Estefania Padilla Gonzalez, Or Graur, Franz-Josef Hambsch, Griffin Hosseinzadeh, D. Andrew Howell, John P. Hughes, Wolfgang E. Kerzendorf, Xavier K. Le Saux, Keiichi Maeda, Kate Maguire, Curtis McCully, Cassidy Mihalenko, Megan Newsome, John T. O'Brien, Jeniveve Pearson, Craig Pellegrino, Justin D. R. Pierel, Abigail Polin, Armin Rest, Cesar Rojas-Bravo, David J. Sand, Michaela Schwab, Melissa Shahbandeh, Manisha Shrestha, Nathan Smith, Louis-Gregory Strolger, Tamas Szalai, Kirsty Taggart, Giacomo Terreran, Jacco H. Terwel, Samaporn Tinyanont, Stefano Valenti, Jozsef Vinko, J. Craig Wheeler, Yi Yang, WeiKang Zheng, Chris Ashall, James M. DerKacy, Lluis Galbany, Peter Hoeflich, Thomas de Jaeger, Jing Lu, Justyn Maund, Kyle Medler, Nidia Morrell, Benjamin J. Shappee, Maximilian Stritzinger, Nicholas Suntzeff, Michael Tucker, Lifan Wang

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We present an analysis of ground-based and JWST observations of SN 2022pul, a peculiar "03fg-like" (or "super-Chandrasekhar") Type Ia supernova (SN Ia), in the nebular phase at 338 d post explosion. Our combined spectrum continuously covers 0.4-14 $\mu$m and includes the first mid-infrared spectrum of an 03fg-like SN Ia. Compared to normal SN Ia 2021aefx, SN 2022pul exhibits a lower mean ionization state, asymmetric emission-line profiles, stronger emission from the intermediate-mass elements (IMEs) argon and calcium, weaker emission from iron-group elements (IGEs), and the first unambiguous detection of neon in a SN Ia. Strong, broad, centrally peaked [Ne II] at 12.81 $\mu$m was previously predicted as a hallmark of "violent merger'' SN Ia models, where dynamical interaction between two sub-$M_{\text{Ch}}$ white dwarfs (WDs) causes disruption of the lower mass WD and detonation of the other. The violent merger scenario was already a leading hypothesis for 03fg-like SNe Ia; in SN 2022pul it can explain the large-scale ejecta asymmetries seen between the IMEs and IGEs and the central location of narrow oxygen and broad neon. We modify extant models to add clumping of the central ejecta to better reproduce the optical iron emission, and add mass in the innermost region ($< 2000$ km s$^{-1}$) to account for the observed narrow [O I] $\lambda\lambda6300$, 6364 emission. A violent WD-WD merger explains many of the observations of SN 2022pul, and our results favor this model interpretation for the subclass of 03fg-like SN Ia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number135
Number of pages18
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


  • astro-ph.HE
  • astro-ph.SR

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