A SPECTROPOLARIMETRIC VIEW ON THE NATURE OF THE PECULIAR TYPE I SN 2005hk**Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory, under program 076.D-0178(A). Academic Article uri icon


  • We report two spectropolarimetric observations of SN 2005hk, which is a close copy of the "very peculiar" SN 2002cx, showing low peak luminosity, slow decline, high ionization near peak, and an unusually low expansion velocity of only about 7000 km s-1. Further to the data presented by Chornock et al., at -4 days before maximum, we present data of this object taken on 2005 November 9 (near maximum) and November 23 (+ 2 weeks) that show the continuum and most of the spectral lines to be polarized at levels of about 0.2%-0.3%. At both epochs the data correspond to the Spectropolarimetric Type D1. The general low level of line polarization suggests that the line-forming regions for most species observed in the spectrum have a similar shape to that of the photosphere, which deviates from a spherical symmetry by <10%. In comparison with spectropolarimetry of Type Ia and corecollapse SNe at similar epochs, we find that the properties of SN 2005hk are most similar to those of Type Ia SNe. In particular, we find the low levels of continuum and line polarization to indicate that the explosion mechanism is approximately spherical, with homogeneous ejecta (unlike the chemically segregated ejecta of CCSNe). We discuss the possibility that SN 2005hk was the result of the pure deflagration of a white dwarf and note the issues concerning this interpretation. 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

published proceedings

  • The Astrophysical Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Maund, J. R., Wheeler, J. C., Wang, L., Baade, D., Clocchiatti, A., Patat, F., ... Zelaya, P.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Maund, Justyn R||Wheeler, J Craig||Wang, Lifan||Baade, Dietrich||Clocchiatti, Alejandro||Patat, Ferdinando||Höflich, Peter||Quinn, Jason||Zelaya, Paula

publication date

  • September 2010