Single or double degenerate progenitors? Searching for shock emission in the SDSS-II Type Ia supernovae

Brian T. Hayden, Peter M. Garnavich, Daniel Kasen, Benjamin Dilday, Joshua A. Frieman, Saurabh W. Jha, Hubert Lampeitl, Robert C. Nichol, Masao Sako, Donald P. Schneider, Mathew Smith, Jesper Sollerman, J. Craig Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


From the set of nearly 500 spectroscopically confirmed Type Ia supernovae (SNe) and around 10,000 unconfirmed candidates from SDSS-II, we select a subset of 108 confirmed SNe Ia with well-observed early-time light curves to search for signatures from shock interaction of the SN with a companion star. No evidence for shock emission is seen; however, the cadence and photometric noise could hide a weak shock signal. We simulate shocked light curves using SN Ia templates and a simple Gaussian shock model to emulate the noise properties of the SDSS-II sample and estimate the detectability of the shock interaction signal as a function of shock amplitude, shock width, and shock fraction. We find no direct evidence for shock interaction in the rest-frame B-band, but place an upper limit on the shock amplitude at 9% of SN peak flux (Mb >-16.6 mag). If the single degenerate channel dominates type Ia progenitors, this result constrains the companion stars to be less than about 6 M on the main sequence and strongly disfavors red giant companions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1691-1698
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 20 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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