A transient radio source consistent with a merger-triggered core collapse supernova

D. Z. Dong*, G. Hallinan, E. Nakar, A. Y.Q. Ho, A. K. Hughes, K. Hotokezaka, S. T. Myers, K. De, K. P. Mooley, V. Ravi, A. Horesh, M. M. Kasliwal, S. R. Kulkarni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A core collapse supernova occurs when exothermic fusion ceases in the core of a massive star, which is typically caused by exhaustion of nuclear fuel. Theory predicts that fusion could be interrupted earlier by merging of the star with a compact binary companion. We report a luminous radio transient, VT J121001+495647, found in the Very Large Array Sky Survey. The radio emission is consistent with supernova ejecta colliding with a dense shell of material, potentially ejected by binary interaction in the centuries before explosion. We associate the supernova with an archival x-ray transient, which implies that a relativistic jet was launched during the explosion. The combination of an early relativistic jet and late-time dense interaction is consistent with expectations for a merger-driven explosion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1125-1129
Number of pages5
Issue number6559
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
D.Z.D. and G.H. were supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant AST-1654815. G.H., D.Z.D., and A.H. were supported by the United States?Israel Binational Science Foundation (grant 2018154). A.H. also acknowledges support from the I-Core Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Israel Science Foundation and ISF grant 647/18. A.Y.Q.H. and K.D. were supported by the GROWTH project funded by the NSF under PIRE grant 1545949. A.K.H. was supported by NSERC Discovery Grants RGPIN-2016-06569 and RGPIN-2021-04001. A.Y.Q.H. was supported by the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at the University of California, Berkeley. K.H. was supported by JSPS Early-Career Scientists grant 20K14513. S.M. was supported by the NRAO. S.R.K. was supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

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© 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.


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