CSM interaction and dust formation in SN 2010jl

K. Krafton, Louisiana State University
G. C. Clayton, Louisiana State University


The origin of dust in galaxies >1 Gyr old has remained an unsolved mystery for over a decade. One proposed solution is dust produced by core collapse supernovae (CCSNe). Theorists have shown that 0.1-1 Mʘ of dust must be produced per supernova for this to work as an explanation for the dust in young galaxies. SN 1987A has produced ∼1 Mʘ of dust since its detonation. However, most supernovae have been found to only produce 10-4 − 10-2 Mʘ of dust. The energetic type IIn SN 2010jl is located in UGC 5189, in a dense shell of CSM. As dust condenses in the SN ejecta, we see, (1) a sudden decrease in continuum brightness in the visible due to increased dust extinction, (2) the development of an infrared excess in the SN light curve arising from dust grains absorbing high-energy photons and re-emitting them in the infrared, and (3) the development of asymmetric, blue-shifted emission-line profiles, caused by dust forming in the ejecta, and preferentially extinguishing redshifted emission. A dense circumstellar material (CSM) may increase the dust production by supernovae. We observe signs of strong interaction between the SN ejecta and a dense CSM in SN 2010jl. SN 2010jl has been a source of much debate in the CCSN community, particularly over when and how much dust it formed. The light curve shows strong signs of dust formation after 260 days. Arguments over these subjects have been based on the evolution of the light curve and spectra. We present new optical and IR photometry, as well as optical spectroscopy, of SN 2010jl over 2000 days. We estimate dust masses using the DAMOCLES and MOCASSIN radiative transfer codes.