Ultraviolet Observations Of Core-collapse Supernovae

Open Access
Pritchard, Tyler Anthony
Graduate Program:
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 13, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Peter W A Roming, Dissertation Advisor
  • John Andrew Nousek, Committee Chair
  • Robin Bruce Ciardullo, Committee Member
  • Caryl Ann Gronwall, Committee Member
  • Lee S Finn, Special Member
  • Supernovae
  • Swift
  • Ultraviolet
  • Extragalactic
Ultraviolet observations of Core Collapse Supernovae (CCSNe) have traditionally lagged behind observations in the optical and near-infrared. With the launch of Swift in 2004 this began to change. The systematic study of UV emission from these objects provides information about supernovae temperature, radius, metallicity and luminosity that may be difficult to obtain from the ground - especially at early times where upwards of 80% of the SNe bolometric flux may come from the UV region. We begin with the examination of an extraordinary Type IIn supernova SN 2007pk, which was at the time the earliest observed Type IIn SNe in the UV, and characterize the explosion properties while examining how the early observed UV emission compares with other observed CCSNe at early times. Building upon this we assemble the largest sample of CCSNe in the UV and examine the UV and bolometric characteristics of CCSNe by subtype. Using these bolometric light curves we go on to calculate empirically based bolometric corrections and UV-flux corrections for use by observers when observing filters are limited or UV observations are unable to be obtained. We improve upon this by identifying a small subsample of Type II Plateau SNe which have simultaneous ground based optical - near infrared data, and improve our bolometric light curve calculation method to more accurately determine bolometric light curve, corrections and UV corrections. Finally, we use recent hydrodynamical models to examine the accuracy of current modeling techniques to reproduce Type IIP SNe, the implications of progenitor properties on the light curves of the SNe, and possibility of future diagnostics for progenitor metalicity, radius, and explosion energies from Type IIP light curves and models.