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Statistical Studies of Supernova Environments

  • Joseph P. Anderson (a1), Phil A. James (a2), Stacey M. Habergham (a2), Lluís Galbany (a3) (a4) and Hanindyo Kuncarayakti (a3) (a4)...

Abstract

Mapping the diversity of SNe to progenitor properties is key to our understanding of stellar evolution and explosive stellar death. Investigations of the immediate environments of SNe allow statistical constraints to be made on progenitor properties such as mass and metallicity. Here, we review the progress that has been made in this field. Pixel statistics using tracers of e.g. star formation within galaxies show intriguing differences in the explosion sites of, in particular SNe types II and Ibc (SNe II and SNe Ibc respectively), suggesting statistical differences in population ages. Of particular interest is that SNe Ic are significantly more associated with host galaxy Hα emission than SNe Ib, implying shorter lifetimes for the former. In addition, such studies have shown (unexpectedly) that the interacting SNe IIn do not explode in regions containing the most massive stars, which suggests that at least a significant fraction of their progenitors arise from the lower end of the core-collapse SN mass range. Host H ii region spectroscopy has been obtained for a significant number of core-collapse events, however definitive conclusions on differences between distinct SN types have to-date been elusive. Single stellar evolution models predict that the relative fraction of SNe Ibc to SNe II should increase with increasing metallicity, due to the dependence of mass-loss rates on progenitor metallicity. We present a meta-analysis of all current host H ii region oxygen abundances for CC SNe. It is concluded that the SN II to SN Ibc ratio shows little variation with oxygen abundance, with only a suggestion that the ratio increases in the lowest bin. Radial distributions of different SNe are discussed, where a central excess of SNe Ibc has been observed within disturbed galaxy systems, which is difficult to ascribe to metallicity or selection effects. Environment studies are also being undertaken for SNe Ia, where constraints can be made on the shortest delay times of progenitor systems. It is shown that ‘redder’ SNe Ia are more often found within star-forming regions. Environment studies are evolving to enable studies at higher spatial resolutions than previously possible, while in addition the advent of wide-field integral field unit instruments allows galaxy-wide spectral analyses which will provide fruitful results to this field. Some example contemporary results are shown in that direction.

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