Is supernova SN 2020faa an iPTF14hls look-alike?

S. Yang*, J. Sollerman, T. W. Chen, E. C. Kool, R. Lunnan, S. Schulze, N. Strotjohann, A. Horesh, M. Kasliwal, T. Kupfer, A. A. Mahabal, F. J. Masci, P. Nugent, D. A. Perley, R. Riddle, B. Rusholme, Y. Sharma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Context. We present observations of ZTF20aatqesi (SN 2020faa). This Type II supernova (SN) displays a luminous light curve (LC) that started to rebrighten from an initial decline. We investigate this in relation to the famous SN iPTF14hls, which received a great deal of attention and multiple interpretations in the literature, but whose nature and source of energy still remain unknown. Aims. We demonstrate the great similarity between SN 2020faa and iPTF14hls during the first 6 months, and use this comparison to forecast the evolution of SN 2020faa and to reflect on the less well observed early evolution of iPTF14hls. Methods. We present and analyse our observational data, consisting mainly of optical LCs from the Zwicky Transient Facility in the gri bands and of a sequence of optical spectra. We construct colour curves and a bolometric lc, and we compare ejecta-velocity and black-body radius evolutions for the two supernovae (SNe) and for more typical Type II SNe. Results. The LCs show a great similarity with those of iPTF14hls over the first 6 months in luminosity, timescale, and colour. In addition, the spectral evolution of SN 2020faa is that of a Type II SN, although it probes earlier epochs than those available for iPTF14hls. Conclusions. The similar LC behaviour is suggestive of SN 2020faa being a new iPTF14hls. We present these observations now to advocate follow-up observations, since most of the more striking evolution of SN iPTF14hls came later, with LC undulations and a spectacular longevity. On the other hand, for SN 2020faa we have better constraints on the explosion epoch than we had for iPTF14hls, and we have been able to spectroscopically monitor it from earlier phases than was done for the more famous sibling.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberA22
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48-inch and the 60-inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. The SED Machine is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1106171. This work was supported by the GROWTH (Kasliwal et al. 2019) project funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1545949. Partially based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated at the Observato-rio del Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. Some of the data presented here were obtained with ALFOSC, which is provided by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA) under a joint agreement with the University of Copenhagen and NOTSA. S. Y. and E. K. are funded through the GREAT research environment grant 2016-06012, and E. K. acknowledges support from The Wenner-Gren Foundations. R. L. is supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship within the Horizon 2020 European Union (EU) Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (H2020-MSCA-IF-2017-794467). T.-W. C. acknowledges the EU Funding under Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant H2020-MSCA-IF-2018-842471. Thanks to David Kaplan for a careful read.

Publisher Copyright:
© ESO 2021.


  • Supernovae: General
  • Supernovae: Individual: IPTF14hls
  • Supernovae: Individual: SN 2020faa
  • Supernovae: Individual: ZTF20aatqesi


Dive into the research topics of 'Is supernova SN 2020faa an iPTF14hls look-alike?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this