Invited Review

The Energy Sources of Superluminous Supernovae

Shan-Qin Wang, Ling-Jun Wang, Zi-Gao Dai


Abstract Supernovae (SNe) are the most brilliant optical stellar-class explosions. Over the past two decades, several optical transient survey projects discovered more than ∼ 100 so-called superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) whose peak luminosities and radiated energy are ⪆ 7 × 1043 erg s−1 and ⪆ 1051 erg respectively, at least an order of magnitude larger than those of normal SNe. According to their optical spectra features, SLSNe have been split into two broad categories of type I that are hydrogen-deficient and type II that are hydrogen-rich. Investigating and determining the energy sources of SLSNe would be of outstanding importance for understanding their stellar evolution and explosion mechanisms. The energy sources of SLSNe can be determined by analyzing their light curves (LCs) and spectra. The most prevailing models accounting for the SLSN LCs are the 56Ni cascade decay model, the magnetar spin-down model, the ejecta-circumstellar medium interaction model and the jet-ejecta interaction model. In this review, we present several energy-source models and their different combinations.


Keywords stars: magnetars — supernovae: general

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