LOSS Revisited. I. Unraveling Correlations between Supernova Rates and Galaxy Properties, as Measured in a Reanalysis of the Lick Observatory Supernova Search

Or Graur, Federica B. Bianco, Shan Huang, Maryam Modjaz, Isaac Shivvers, Alexei V. Filippenko, Weidong Li, J. J. Eldridge

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Most types of supernovae (SNe) have yet to be connected with their progenitor stellar systems. Here, we reanalyze the 10-year SN sample collected during 1998-2008 by the Lick Observatory Supernova Search (LOSS) in order to constrain the progenitors of SNe Ia and stripped-envelope SNe (SE SNe, i.e., SNe IIb, Ib, Ic, and broad-lined Ic). We matched the LOSS galaxy sample with spectroscopy from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and measured SN rates as a function of galaxy stellar mass, specific star formation rate, and oxygen abundance (metallicity). We find significant correlations between the SN rates and all three galaxy properties. The SN Ia correlations are consistent with other measurements, as well as with our previous explanation of these measurements in the form of a combination of the SN Ia delay-time distribution and the correlation between galaxy mass and age. The ratio between the SE SN and SN II rates declines significantly in low-mass galaxies. This rules out single stars as SE SN progenitors, and is consistent with predictions from binary-system progenitor models. Using well-known galaxy scaling relations, any correlation between the rates and one of the galaxy properties examined here can be expressed as a correlation with the other two. These redundant correlations preclude us from establishing causality - that is, from ascertaining which of the galaxy properties (or their combination) is the physical driver for the difference between the SE SN and SN II rates. We outline several methods that have the potential to overcome this problem in future works.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number120
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume837
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 10 2017

    Keywords

    • catalogs
    • galaxies: fundamental parameters
    • supernovae: general
    • surveys

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

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