Late-time Flattening of Type Ia Supernova Light Curves: Constraints from SN 2014J in M82
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2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. The very nearby Type Ia supernova 2014J in M82 offers a rare opportunity to study the physics of thermonuclear supernovae at extremely late phases (800 days). Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we obtained 6 epochs of high-precision photometry for SN 2014J from 277 days to 1181 days past the B-band maximum light. The reprocessing of electrons and X-rays emitted by the radioactive decay chain 57 Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart New York. 57Fe is needed to explain the significant flattening of both the F606W-band and the pseudo-bolometric light curves. The flattening confirms previous predictions that the late-time evolution of type Ia supernova luminosities requires additional energy input from the decay of 57Co. By assuming the F606W-band luminosity scales with the bolometric luminosity at 500 days after the B-band maximum light, a mass ratio 57Ni/56Ni 0.065+0.005-0.004 is required. This mass ratio is roughly 3 times the solar ratio and favors a progenitor white dwarf with a mass near the Chandrasekhar limit. A similar fit using the constructed pseudo-bolometric luminosity gives a mass ratio 57Ni/56Ni 0.066+0.009-0.008. Astrometric tests based on the multi-epoch HST ACS/WFC images reveal no significant circumstellar light echoes in between 0.3 and 100 pc from the supernova.