Discovery, progenitor and early evolution of a stripped envelope supernova iPTF13bvn

Yi Cao, Mansi M. Kasliwal, Iair Arcavi, Assaf Horesh, Paul Hancock, Stefano Valenti, S. Bradley Cenko, S. R. Kulkarni, Avishay Gal-Yam, Evgeny Gorbikov, Eran O. Ofek, David Sand, Ofer Yaron, Melissa Graham, Jeffrey M. Silverman, J. Craig Wheeler, G. H. Marion, Emma S. Walker, Paolo Mazzali, D. Andrew HowellK. L. Li, A. K.H. Kong, Joshua S. Bloom, Peter E. Nugent, Jason Surace, Frank Masci, John Carpenter, Nathalie Degenaar, Christopher R. Gelino

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The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory reports our discovery of a young supernova, iPTF13bvn, in the nearby galaxy, NGC 5806 (22.5 Mpc). Our spectral sequence in the optical and infrared suggests a Type Ib classification. We identify a blue progenitor candidate in deep pre-explosion imaging within a 2σ error circle of 80 mas (8.7 pc). The candidate has an MB luminosity of -5.52 ± 0.39 mag and a B-I color of 0.25 ± 0.25 mag. If confirmed by future observations, this would be the first direct detection for a progenitor of a Type Ib. Fitting a power law to the early light curve, we find an extrapolated explosion date around 0.6 days before our first detection. We see no evidence of shock cooling. The pre-explosion detection limits constrain the radius of the progenitor to be smaller than a few solar radii. iPTF13bvn is also detected in centimeter and millimeter wavelengths. Fitting a synchrotron self-absorption model to our radio data, we find a mass-loading parameter of 1.3×1012 g cm-1. Assuming a wind velocity of 103 km s-1, we derive a progenitor mass-loss rate of 3 × 10-5 M yr-1. Our observations, taken as a whole, are consistent with a Wolf-Rayet progenitor of the supernova iPTF13bvn.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberL7
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • instrumentation: adaptive optics
  • shock waves
  • stars: Wolf-Rayet
  • supernovae: individual (iPTF13bvn)
  • surveys


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