Progenitor constraints on the Type Ia supernova SN 2014J from Hubble Space Telescope Hβ and [O III] observations

Or Graur*, Tyrone E. Woods

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Type Ia supernovae are understood to arise from the thermonuclear explosion of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, yet the evolutionary mechanisms leading to such events remain unknown. Many proposed channels, including the classical single-degenerate scenario, invoke a hot, luminous evolutionary phase for the progenitor, in which it is a prodigious source of photoionizing emission. Here, we examine the environment of SN 2014J for evidence of a photoionized nebula in pre- and post-explosion [O III] λ5007 Å and Hβ images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. From the absence of any extended emission, we exclude a stable nuclear-burning white dwarf at the location of SN 2014J in the last ~100,000 years, assuming a typical warm interstellar medium (ISM) particle density of 1 cm-3. These limits greatly exceed existing X-ray constraints at temperatures typical of known supersoft sources. Significant extreme-UV/soft X-ray emission prior to explosion remains plausible for lower ISM densities (e.g., nISM ~ 0.1 cm-3). In this case, however, any putative nebula would be even more extended, allowing deeper follow-up observations to resolve this ambiguity in the near future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L79-L84
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Volume484
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • methods: observational
  • binaries: close
  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual: SN2014J
  • (stars:) white dwarfs

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