We present the GALEX detection of a UV burst at the time of explosion of an optically normal supernova (SN) IIP (PS1-13arp) from the Pan-STARRS1 survey at z = 0.1665. The temperature and luminosity of the UV burst match the theoretical predictions for shock breakout in a red supergiant (RSG), but with a duration a factor of ∼50 longer than expected. We compare the NUV light curve of PS1-13arp to previous GALEX detections of SNe IIP and find clear distinctions that indicate that the UV emission is powered by shock breakout, and not by the subsequent cooling envelope emission previously detected in these systems. We interpret the ∼1 day duration of the UV signal with a shock breakout in the wind of an RSG with a pre-explosion mass-loss rate of yr-1. This mass-loss rate is enough to prolong the duration of the shock breakout signal, but not enough to produce an excess in the optical plateau light curve or narrow emission lines powered by circumstellar interaction. This detection of non-standard, potentially episodic high mass loss in an RSG SN progenitor has favorable consequences for the prospects of future wide-field UV surveys to detect shock breakout directly in these systems, and provide a sensitive probe of the pre-explosion conditions of SN progenitors.
- supernovae: individual (PS1-13arp)
- ultraviolet: general
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science