Rates and properties of type Ia supernovae in galaxy clusters within the Dark Energy Survey

M. Toy, P. Wiseman, M. Sullivan, A. Palmese, O. Graur, B. Popovic, T. M. Davis, L. Galbany, L. Kelsey, C. Lidman, D. Scolnic, T. M. C. Abbott, M. Aguena, S. Allam, O. Alves, J. Annis, D. Bacon, D. Brooks, D. L. Burke, M. Carrasco KindJ. Carretero, F. J. Castander, C. Conselice, L. N. da Costa, M. E. S. Pereira, J. De Vicente, S. Desai, H. T. Diehl, P. Doel, S. Everett, I. Ferrero, J. Frieman, D. W. Gerdes, D. Gruen, R. A. Gruendl, G. Gutierrez, S. R. Hinton, D. L. Hollowood, K. Honscheid, D. J. James, K. Kuehn, N. Kuropatkin, P. Melchior, J. Mena-Fernández, F. Menanteau, R. Miquel, A. Pieres, A. A. Plazas Malagón, A. K. Romer, E. Sanchez, V. Scarpine, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, M. Soares-Santos, E. Suchyta, G. Tarle, C. To, N. Weaverdyck

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We use the Dark Energy Survey (DES) 5 year catalogue of photometrically-classified type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) to identify 70 SNe Ia that have occurred within red-sequence selected clusters of galaxies. We compare the cluster SN light-curve properties and environmental properties to 1020 DES SNe Ia located in the field, the largest comparison of two such samples to date. We find an tentative indication (98.5 per cent confidence level) that, on average, SNe Ia located in galaxy clusters are faster declining compared to those located in the field. We find no evidence of a difference in SN Ia colour between the two samples. Additionally, there is strong evidence ($99.98$ per cent confidence level) that cluster SNe Ia occur on average in more massive host galaxies than field SNe. We calculate the rate of SNe Ia per stellar mass in galaxy clusters, and find the average rate in the high mass ($10\leq\log\mathrm{(M_{*}/M_{\odot})} \leq 11.25$) cluster galaxies to be comparable to equivalent field mass galaxies, with an average difference of $1.3 \pm 0.3$. Considering the full mass ranges of both samples, we measure a decrease in the overall rate per unit mass in the clusters compared to the field. Differences in the two samples rates could be caused by an excess of white dwarfs in clusters due to a different initial mass function, cluster galaxy mergers re-igniting star formation, or a difference in metallicity between the two environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5292-5305
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Early online date25 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • astro-ph.HE
  • supernovae: general
  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • transients: supernovae
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/R000506/1
  • MRC
  • MR/T01881X/1

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