A Search for Environmental Effects on Type Ia Supernovae Academic Article uri icon


  • We use integrated colors and B and V absolute magnitudes of Type Ia supernova (SN) host galaxies in order to search for environmental effects on the SN optical properties. With the new sample of 44 SNe we confirm the conclusion by Hamuy et al. that bright events occur preferentially in young stellar environments. We find also that the brightest SNe occur in the least luminous galaxies, a possible indication that metal-poor neighborhoods produce the more luminous events. The interpretation of these results is made difficult, however, because of the fact that galaxies with younger stellar populations are also lower in luminosity. In an attempt to remove this ambiguity, we use models for the line strengths in the absorption spectrum of five early-type galaxies, in order to estimate metallicities and ages of the SN host galaxies. With the addition of abundance estimates from nebular analysis of the emission spectra of three spiral galaxies, we find possible further evidence that luminous SNe are produced in metal-poor neighborhoods. Further spectroscopic observations of the SN host galaxies will be necessary to test these results and assist in disentangling the age and metallicity effects on Type Ia SNe.

published proceedings

  • The Astronomical Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Hamuy, M., Trager, S. C., Pinto, P. A., Phillips, M. M., Schommer, R. A., Ivanov, V., & Suntzeff, N. B.

citation count

  • 202

complete list of authors

  • Hamuy, Mario||Trager, SC||Pinto, Philip A||Phillips, MM||Schommer, RA||Ivanov, Valentin||Suntzeff, Nicholas B

publication date

  • September 2000