Discovery and early multi-wavelength measurements of the energetic type IC supernova ptf12gzk: A massive-star explosion in a dwarf host galaxy

Sagi Ben-Ami*, Avishay Gal-Yam, Alexei V. Filippenko, Paolo A. Mazzali, Maryam Modjaz, Ofer Yaron, Iair Arcavi, S. Bradley Cenko, Assaf Horesh, D. Andrew Howell, Melissa L. Graham, J. Chuck Horst, Myunshin Im, Yiseul Jeon, Shrinivas R. Kulkarni, Douglas C. Leonard, Daniel Perley, Elena Pian, David J. Sand, Mark SullivanJuliette C. Becker, David Bersier, Joshua S. Bloom, Michael Bottom, Peter J. Brown, Kelsey I. Clubb, Ben Dilday, Richard C. Dixon, Aryeh L. Fortinsky, Derek B. Fox, Luis A. Gonzalez, Avet Harutyunyan, Mansi M. Kasliwal, Weidong Li, Matthew A. Malkan, Ilan Manulis, Thomas Matheson, Nicholas A. Moskovitz, Philip S. Muirhead, Peter E. Nugent, Eran O. Ofek, Robert M. Quimby, Joseph W. Richards, Nathaniel R. Ross, Kinchen J. Searcy, Jeffrey M. Silverman, Nathan Smith, Andrew Vanderburg, Emma S. Walker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We present the discovery and extensive early-time observations of the Type Ic supernova (SN) PTF12gzk. Our light curves show a rise of 0.8mag within 2.5hr. Power-law fits (f(t) (t - t 0)n) to these data constrain the explosion date to within one day. We cannot rule out a quadratic fireball model, but higher values of n are possible as well for larger areas in the fit parameter space. Our bolometric light curve and a dense spectral sequence are used to estimate the physical parameters of the exploding star and of the explosion. We show that the photometric evolution of PTF12gzk is slower than that of most SNe Ic. The high ejecta expansion velocities we measure (∼30, 000kms-1 derived from line minima fourdays after explosion) are similar to the observed velocities of broad-lined SNe Ic associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) rather than to normal SN Ic velocities. Yet, this SN does not show the persistent broad lines that are typical of broad-lined SNe Ic. The host-galaxy characteristics are also consistent with GRB-SN hosts, and not with normal SN Ic hosts. By comparison with the spectroscopically similar SN 2004aw, we suggest that the observed properties of PTF12gzk indicate an initial progenitor mass of 25-35M and a large ((5-10) × 10 51erg) kinetic energy, the later being close to the regime of GRB-SN properties.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberL33
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual (PTF12gzk)


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