Hydrogen-Poor Core-Collapse Supernovae

  • Elena PianEmail author
  • Paolo A. Mazzali
Reference work entry


Hydrogen-poor core-collapse supernovae (SNe) signal the explosive death of stars more massive than the progenitors of hydrogen-rich core-collapse supernovae, i.e., approximately in the range 15–50 M in main sequence. Since hydrogen-poor core-collapse supernovae include those that accompany gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), which were all rigorously identified with type Ic supernovae, their explosion energies cover almost two decades. The light curves and spectra are consequently very heterogeneous and often bear the signature of an asymmetric, i.e., aspherical, explosion. Asphericity is best traced by early-time (within days of the explosion) optical spectropolarimetry and by late-epoch (more than ∼ 100 days after explosion) low-resolution spectroscopy. While the relationship between hydrogen-poor core-collapse supernovae to hydrogen-poor super-luminous supernovae is not understood, a known case of association between an ultra-long gamma-ray burst and a very luminous hydrogen-poor supernova may help unraveling the connection. This is tantalizingly pointing to a magnetar powering source for both phenomena, although this scenario is still highly speculative. Host galaxies of hydrogen-poor supernovae are always star forming; in those of completely stripped supernovae and gamma-ray burst supernovae, the spatial distribution of the explosions follows the blue/ultraviolet light, with a correlation that is more than linear.



We thank Simon Prentice for producing Figs.1 and 2 (left panel) and Avishay Gal-Yam and Iair Arcavi for constructive inputs. The following figures were reprinted with permission: Figure 11 from “The metamorphosis of SN 1998bw”, by F. Patat et al., ApJ, vol. 555, year 2001, pages 900–917 (DOI: 10.1086/321526); Figure 3 from “Long gamma-ray bursts and Type Ic core-collapse supernovae have similar locations in hosts”’, by P. Kelly et al., ApJ, vol. 687, year 2008, pages 1201–1207 (DOI: 10.1086/591925); Figure 4 from “Keck and European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope view of the symmetry of the ejecta of the XRF/SN 2006aj”, by P.A. Mazzali et al., ApJ, vol. 661, year 2007, pages 892–898 (DOI: 10.1086/517912).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Space Astrophysics and Cosmic PhysicsINAF-IASFBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Scuola Normale SuperiorePisaItaly
  3. 3.Astrophysics Research InstituteLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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