The unique type Ia supernova 2000cx in NGC 524

Weidong Li, Alexei V. Filippenko, Elinor Gates, Ryan Chornock, Avishay Gal-Yam, Eran O. Ofek, Douglas C. Leonard, Maryam Modjaz, R. Michael Rich, Adam G. Riess, Richard R. Treffers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We present extensive photometric and spectroscopic observations of the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2000cx in the S0 galaxy NGC 524, which reveal it to be peculiar. Photometrically, SN 2000cx is different from all known SNe Ia, and its light curves cannot be fitted well by the fitting techniques currently available. There is an apparent asymmetry in the B-band peak, in which the premaximum brightening is relatively fast (similar to that of the normal SN 1994D), but the postmaximum decline is relatively slow (similar to that of the overluminous SN 1991T). The color evolution of SN 2000cx is also peculiar: the (B-V)0 color has a unique plateau phase and the (V-R)0 and (V-I)0 colors are very blue. Although the premaximum spectra of SN 2000cx are similar to those of SN 1991T-like objects (with weak Si II lines), its overall spectral evolution is quite different. The Si II lines that emerged near maximum B-band brightness stay strong in SN 2000cx until about 3 weeks past maximum. The change in the excitation stages of iron-peak elements is slow. Both the iron-peak and the intermediate-mass elements are found to be moving at very high expansion velocities in the ejecta of SN 2000cx. We discuss theoretical models for SN 2000cx. SN 2000cx may be an overluminous object like SN 199IT, but with a larger yield of 56Ni and a higher kinetic energy in the ejecta. We also briefly discuss the implications of our observations for the luminosity versus light-curve width relation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1178-1204
    Number of pages27
    JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
    Issue number788
    StatePublished - Oct 2001

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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