Institute of Astronomy

The unprecedented 2012 outburst of Supernova 2009ip

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Jon Mauerhan (Arizona)19 June 2013Institute of Astronomy Seminars


Interacting supernovae and supernova impostors are raising critical new
questions about the final phases of massive star evolution. SN 2009ip is the
epitome of such events, and one of the most interesting massive star
explosions since SN 1987A. The progenitor is a Luminous Blue Variable (LBV)
star that has produced multiple, luminous outbursts of mass over the last
several years. I will present photometric and spectroscopic coverage of the
most recent outburst of this object from 2012 to present. The data suggest
that the source might have finally exploded as a true supernova. However,
several peculiar late-time observational characteristics have called the SN
hypothesis into question, and these various observational signatures and
their implications will be discussed. The results have important
consequences for our view of pre-SN evolution for massive stars.


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