Far-UV HST Spectroscopy of an Unusual Hydrogen-poor Superluminous Supernova: SN2017egm Academic Article uri icon


  • SN2017egm is the closest (z=0.03) H-poor superluminous supernova (SLSN-I) detected to date, and a rare example of an SLSN-I in a massive and metal-rich galaxy. Here we present the HST UV & optical spectra covering (1000 - 5500)A taken at +3 day relative to the peak. Our data reveal two sets of absorption systems, separated by 235 km/s, at redshifts matching the host galaxy, NGC3191 and its companion galaxy 73 arcsec apart. Weakly damped Lyman-alpha absorption lines are detected at these two redshifts, with HI column densities of $(3.0pm0.8) imes10^{19}$ and $(3.7pm0.9) imes10^{19}$,cm$^{-2}$ respectively. This is an order of magnitude smaller than HI column densities in the disks of nearby galaxies ($>10^{10}M_odot$) and suggests that SN2017egm is on the near side of NGC3191 and has a low host extinction (E(B-V)=0.007). Using unsaturated metal absorption lines and taking into account of H ionization and dust depletion corrections, we find that the host of SN2017egm probably has a solar or higher metallicity and is unlikely to be a dwarf companion to NGC3191. Comparison of early-time UV spectra of SN2017egm, Gaia16apd, iPTF13ajg and PTF12dam finds that the continuum at wavelength > 2800A is well fit by a blackbody, whereas the continuum at wavelength < 2800A is considerably below the model. The degree of UV suppression varies from source to source, with the 1400A to 2800A continuum flux ratio of 1.5 for Gaia16apd and 0.4 for iPTF13ajg. This can not be explained by the differences in magnetar power or blackbody temperature (i.e. color temperature). Finally, the UV spectra reveal a common set of seven broad absorption features and their equivalent widths are similar (within a factor of 2) among the four events. These seven features bode well for future high-z SLSN-I spectral classifications.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Yan, L., Perley, D. A., De Cia, A., Quimby, R., Lunnan, R., Rubin, K., & Brown, P. J.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Yan, Lin||Perley, DA||De Cia, A||Quimby, R||Lunnan, R||Rubin, Kate HR||Brown, PJ

publication date

  • May 2018