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A mid-infrared study of dust emission from core-collapse supernovae

Fabbri, J.N.; (2011) A mid-infrared study of dust emission from core-collapse supernovae. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The aim of this thesis has been to help elucidate the potential contribution of core-collapse supernovae (SNe) to the dust-enrichment of galaxies. It has long been hypothesised that SNe are a major source of dust in the Universe, an assumption that has gained support with the discovery that many of the earliest-formed galaxies are extremely dusty and infrared-luminous, as evidenced by the efficient detection of their redshifted infrared emission at submillimeter wavelengths. Massive-star, core-collapse SNe, of Types II, Ib and Ic, arising from the starbursts that power these galaxies, are plausible sources of this dust. However, very little is currently known about how much dust forms in SN outflows. To this end, sensitive mid-infrared surveys for thermal dust emission from recent core-collapse SNe have been conducted with the Spitzer Space Telescope and mid-infrared detectors on the Gemini telescopes, in order to seek evidence for dust formation and evolution in SN ejecta. Of the 30 SNe observed, only five were robustly detected. These were comprised of four Type II-P SNe: SN 2002hh, SN 2003gd, SN 2004dj and SN 2004et; and the Type IIn SN 1999bw. The mid-infrared data of SN 2004et were incorporated with optical and near-infrared data to provide a comprehensive study of this SN from days 64 to 2151 post explosion. Radiative transfer models predict up to 1.5x10^-3M\bigodot of dust had condensed in the ejecta of SN 2004et by day 690. Upper limits to mid-infrared fluxes are presented for 25 supernova and used to obtain upper limits to their dust masses in the mid-infrared. The results from this research add to the weight of observational evidence which suggests the ejecta of core-collapse SNe do not produce sufficient dust, at least during the first 3 or 4 years after outburst, to explain the masses of dust derived for some galaxies in the early Universe.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:A mid-infrared study of dust emission from core-collapse supernovae
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy

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