The exceptionally luminous type Ia supernova 2007if

F. Yuan, R. M. Quimby, J. C. Wheeler, J. Vinkó, E. Chatzopoulos, C. W. Akerlof, S. Kulkarni, J. M. Miller, T. A. McKay, F. Aharonian

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SN 2007if was the third over-luminous Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) detected after 2003fg and 2006gz. We present the photometric and spectroscopic observations of the SN and its host by ROTSE-III, HET, and Keck. From the H α line identified in the host spectra, we determine a redshift of 0.0736. At this distance, the SN reached an absolute magnitude of -20.4, brighter than any other SNe Ia ever observed. If the source of luminosity is radioactive decay, a large amount of radioactive nickel (∼1.5 M ) is required to power the peak luminosity, more than can be produced realistically in a Chandrasekhar mass progenitor. Low expansion velocity, similar to that of 2003fg, is also measured around the maximum light. The observations may suggest that SN 2007if was from a massive white dwarf progenitor, plausibly exploding with mass well beyond 1.4 M . Alternatively, we investigate circumstellar interaction that may contribute to the excess luminosity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1343
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Supernovae: individual (SN 2007if)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Yuan, F., Quimby, R. M., Wheeler, J. C., Vinkó, J., Chatzopoulos, E., Akerlof, C. W., Kulkarni, S., Miller, J. M., McKay, T. A., & Aharonian, F. (2010). The exceptionally luminous type Ia supernova 2007if. Astrophysical Journal, 715(2), 1338-1343.