Circumstellar Interaction Models for the Bolometric Light Curve of Type i Superluminous SN 2017egm

J. Craig Wheeler, Emmanouil Chatzopoulos, Jozsef Vinkó, Richard Tuminello

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5 Citations (Scopus)


We explore simple semi-analytic fits to the bolometric light curve of Gaia17biu/SN 2017egm, the most nearby hydrogen-deficient superluminous supernova (SLSN I) yet discovered. SN 2017egm has a quasi-bolometric light curve that is uncharacteristic of other SLSN I by having a nearly linear rise to maximum and decline from peak, with a very sharp transition. Magnetar models have difficulty explaining the sharp peak and may tend to be too bright 20 days after maximum. Light curves powered only by radioactive decay of 56Ni fail on similar grounds and because they demand greater nickel mass than ejecta mass. Simple models based on circumstellar interaction (CSI) do have a sharp peak corresponding to the epoch when the forward shock breaks out of the optically thick circumstellar medium or the reverse shock reaches the inside of the ejecta. We find that models based on CSI with a constant-density shell provide an interesting fit to the bolometric light curve from 15 days before to 15 days after peak light of SN 2017egm and that both magnetar and radioactive decay models fail to fit the sharp peak. Future photometric observations should easily discriminate basic CSI models from basic magnetar models. The implications of a CSI model are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL14
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 10 2017



  • galaxies: individual (NGC 3191)
  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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