Progenitor and close-in circumstellar medium of type II supernova 2020fqv from high-cadence photometry and ultra-rapid UV spectroscopy

Samaporn Tinyanont, R. Ridden-Harper, R. J. Foley, V. Morozova, C. D. Kilpatrick, G. Dimitriadis, L. DeMarchi, A. Gagliano, W. V. Jacobson-Galan, A. Messick, J. D.R. Pierel, A. L. Piro, E. Ramirez-Ruiz, M. R. Siebert, K. C. Chambers, K. E. Clever, D. A. Coulter, K. De, M. Hankins, T. HungS. W. Jha, C. E. Jimenez Angel, D. O. Jones, M. M. Kasliwal, C. C. Lin, R. Marques-Chaves, R. Margutti, A. Moore, I. Pérez-Fournon, F. Poidevin, A. Rest, R. Shirley, C. S. Smith, E. Strasburger, J. J. Swift, R. J. Wainscoat, Q. Wang, Y. Zenati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We present observations of SN 2020fqv, a Virgo-cluster type II core-collapse supernova (CCSN) with a high temporal resolution light curve from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) covering the time of explosion; ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) starting 3.3 d post-explosion; ground-based spectroscopic observations starting 1.1 d post-explosion; along with extensive photometric observations. Massive stars have complicated mass-loss histories leading up to their death as CCSNe, creating circumstellar medium (CSM) with which the SNe interact. Observations during the first few days post-explosion can provide important information about the mass-loss rate during the late stages of stellar evolution. Model fits to the quasi-bolometric light curve of SN 2020fqv reveal 0.23 M⊙ of CSM confined within 1450 R⊙ (1014 cm) from its progenitor star. Early spectra (<4 d post-explosion), both from HST and ground-based observatories, show emission features from high-ionization metal species from the outer, optically thin part of this CSM. We find that the CSM is consistent with an eruption caused by the injection of ∼5 × 1046 erg into the stellar envelope ∼300 d pre-explosion, potentially from a nuclear burning instability at the onset of oxygen burning. Light-curve fitting, nebular spectroscopy, and pre-explosion HST imaging consistently point to a red supergiant (RSG) progenitor with MZAMS ≈ 13.5-15 M⊙, typical for SN II progenitor stars. This finding demonstrates that a typical RSG, like the progenitor of SN 2020fqv, has a complicated mass-loss history immediately before core collapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2777-2797
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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