Delay Time Distributions of Type Ia Supernovae from Galaxy and Cosmic Star Formation Histories

Louis Gregory Strolger, Steven A. Rodney, Camilla Pacifici, Gautham Narayan, Or Graur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present analytical reconstructions of SN Ia delay time distributions (DTDs) by way of two independent methods: by a Markov Chain Monte Carlo best-fit technique comparing the volumetric SN Ia rate history to today's compendium cosmic star formation history, and second through a maximum likelihood analysis of the star formation rate histories of individual galaxies in the GOODS/CANDELS field, in comparison to their resultant SN Ia yields. We adopt a flexible skew-normal DTD model, which could match a wide range of physically motivated DTD forms. We find a family of solutions that are essentially exponential DTDs, similar in shape to the β ≈ -1 power-law DTDs, but with more delayed events (>1 Gyr in age) than prompt events (<1 Gyr). Comparing these solutions to delay time measures separately derived from field galaxies and galaxy clusters, we find the skew-normal solutions can accommodate both without requiring a different DTD form in different environments. These model fits are generally inconsistent with results from single-degenerate binary population synthesis models, and are seemingly supportive of double-degenerate progenitors for most SN Ia events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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