Photometrically Classified Superluminous Supernovae from the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey: A Case Study for Science with Machine-learning-based Classification

Brian Hsu, Griffin Hosseinzadeh, V. Ashley Villar, Edo Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the upcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), it is expected that only ∼0.1% of all transients will be classified spectroscopically. To conduct studies of rare transients, such as Type I superluminous supernovae (SLSNe), we must instead rely on photometric classification. In this vein, here we carry out a pilot study of SLSNe from the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey (PS1-MDS), classified photometrically with our SuperRAENN and Superphot algorithms. We first construct a subsample of the photometric sample using a list of simple selection metrics designed to minimize contamination and ensure sufficient data quality for modeling. We then fit the multiband light curves with a magnetar spin-down model using the Modular Open-Source Fitter for Transients (MOSFiT). Comparing the magnetar engine and ejecta parameter distributions of the photometric sample to those of the PS1-MDS spectroscopic sample and a larger literature spectroscopic sample, we find that these samples are consistent overall, but that the photometric sample extends to slower spins and lower ejecta masses, which correspond to lower-luminosity events, as expected for photometric selection. While our PS1-MDS photometric sample is still smaller than the overall SLSN spectroscopic sample, our methodology paves the way for an orders-of-magnitude increase in the SLSN sample in the LSST era through photometric selection and study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume937
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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