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The volumetric rate of normal type Ia supernovae in the local universe discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Mr Christopher Martin Frohmaier
  • Mark Sullivan
  • P. E. Nugent
  • Mathew Smith
  • G. Dimitriadis
  • J. S. Bloom
  • S. B. Cenko
  • Mansi Kasliwal
  • Shrinivas R. Kulkarni
  • K. Maguire
  • E. O. Ofek
  • Dovi Poznanski
  • R. M. Quimby
We present the volumetric rate of normal type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). Using strict data-quality cuts, and considering only periods when the PTF maintained a regular cadence, PTF discovered 90 SNe Ia at z ≤ 0.09 in a well-controlled sample over three years of operation (2010–2012). We use this to calculate the volumetric rate of SN Ia events by comparing this sample to simulations of hundreds of millions of SN Ia light curves produced in statistically representative realisations of the PTF survey. This quantifies the recovery efficiency of each PTF SN Ia event, and thus the relative weighting of each event. From this, the volumetric SN Ia rate was found to be rv=2.43±0.29(stat)+0.33−0.19(sys)×10−5SNe yr−1Mpc−3h370⁠. This represents the most precise local measurement of the SN Ia rate. We fit a simple SN Ia delay-time distribution model, ∝t−β, to our PTF rate measurement combined with a literature sample of rate measurements from surveys at higher-redshifts. We find β ∼ 1, consistent with a progenitor channel governed by the gravitational in-spiral of binary white dwarfs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberstz807
Pages (from-to)2308-2320
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date19 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • stz807

    Rights statement: This article has been accepted for publication in MNRAS ©: 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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