Ori D. Fox, Joel Johansson, Mansi Kasliwal, Jennifer Andrews, John Bally, Howard E. Bond, Martha L. Boyer, R. D. Gehrz, George Helou, E. Y. Hsiao, Frank J. Masci, M. Parthasarathy, Nathan Smith, Samaporn Tinyanont, Schuyler D.Van Dyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Supernovae Type Iax (SNe Iax) are less energetic and less luminous than typical thermonuclear explosions. A suggested explanation for the observed characteristics of this subclass is a binary progenitor system consisting of a CO white dwarf primary accreting from a helium star companion. A single-degenerate explosion channel might be expected to result in a dense circumstellar medium (CSM), although no evidence for such a CSM has yet been observed for this subclass. Here we present recent Spitzer observations of the SN Iax 2014dt obtained by the SPIRITS program nearly one year post-explosion that reveal a strong mid-IR excess over the expected fluxes of more normal SNe Ia. This excess is consistent with 10-5 of newly formed dust, which would be the first time that newly formed dust has been observed to form in a Type Ia. The excess, however, is also consistent with a dusty CSM that was likely formed in pre-explosion mass-loss, thereby suggesting a single degenerate progenitor system. Compared to other SNe Ia that show significant shock interaction (SNe Ia-CSM) and interacting core-collapse events (SNe IIn), this dust shell in SN 2014dt is less massive. We consider the implications that such a pre-existing dust shell has for the progenitor system, including a binary system with a mass donor that is a red giant, a red supergiant, or an asymptotic giant branch star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL13
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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