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Optical Light Curves of Supernovae

  • Bruno Leibundgut
  • Nicholas B. Suntzeff
Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 598)

Abstract

Photometry is the most easily acquired information about supernovae. The light curves constructed from regular imaging provide signatures not only for the energy input, the radiation escape, the local environment and the progenitor stars, but also for the intervening dust. They are the main tool for the use of supernovae as distance indicators through the determination of the luminosity.

The light curve of SN1987A still is the richest and longest observed example for a core-collapse supernova. Despite the peculiar nature of this object, as explosion of a blue supergiant, it displayed all the characteristics of type II supernovae. The light curves of type Ib/c supernovae are more homogeneous, but still display the signatures of explosions in massive stars, among them early interaction with their circumstellar material.

Wrinkles in the near-uniform appearance of thermonuclear (type Ia) supernovae have emerged during the past decade. Subtle differences have been observed especially at near infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Interestingly, the light curve shapes appear to correlate with a variety of other characteristics of these supernovae.

The construction of bolometric light curves provides the most direct link to theoretical predictions and can yield sorely needed constraints for the models. First steps in this direction have been already made.

Keywords

Light Curve Light Curf Explosion Energy Peak Luminosity Progenitor Star 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Leibundgut
    • 1
  • Nicholas B. Suntzeff
    • 2
  1. 1.European Southern ObservatoryGarchingGermany
  2. 2.Cerro Tololo Inter-American ObservatoryLa SerenaChile

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