An Unusually Fast-Evolving Supernova

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Science  01 Jan 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5961, pp. 58-60
DOI: 10.1126/science.1181709

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  1. Fig. 1

    Comparison of the light curve of SN 2002bj to those of SNe of various types (gray dashed lines; R-band magnitudes offset to the same B-band maximum date). SN 2002bj is quite luminous at peak for a core-collapse event, yet faint compared with typical SNe Ia. SN 1994I (21) is often cited as a "fast" SN Ic; SN 2003gs (22) was recently presented as one of the fastest SNe Ia; and SN 2008ha (14) is a faint, peculiar, and fast SN of debated breed. SN 2002bj is significantly faster than any of these. SN 1998S (23), SN 2005cf (24), and SN 2008D (25) are standard representatives of type IIn, Ia, and Ib SNe, respectfully; they are shown for reference. The dashed red line shows the slowest rise slope of SN 2002bj allowed by the data.

  2. Fig. 2

    The unique spectral features of SN 2002bj (shown in red; continuum removed) are difficult to identify a priori. Fλ, flux per unit of wavelength. This spectrum, taken 7 March 2002 (7 days after discovery), is reminiscent of SNe Ia, with the notable exception of the prominent He and C lines, never seen before in such SNe. We show (in black) a typical SN Ia spectrum near maximum light (SN 2001bf), redshifted by 10,000 km s−1 in order to match ejecta velocities. The spectral features identified in black are present in both objects, and the ones in red are seen only in SN 2002bj.