Swift and chandra detections of supernova 2006jc: Evidence for interaction of the supernova shock with a circumstellar shell

S. Immler, M. Modjaz, W. Landsman, F. Bufano, P. J. Brown, P. Milne, L. Dessart, S. T. Holland, M. Koss, D. Pooley, R. P. Kirshner, A. V. Filippenko, N. Panagia, R. A. Chevalier, P. A. Mazzali, N. Gehrels, R. Petre, D. N. Burrows, J. A. Nousek, P. W.A. RomingE. Pian, A. M. Soderberg, J. Greiner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The peculiar Type Ib supernova (SN) 2006jc has been observed with the UV/Optical Telescope (UVOT) and X-Ray Telescope (XRT) on board the Swift observatory over a period of 19-183 days after the explosion. Signatures of interaction of the outgoing SN shock with dense circumstellar material (CSM) are detected, such as strong X-ray emission (L0.2.10 > 10 39 erg s-1) and the presence of Mg ii 2800 Å line emission visible in the UV spectra. In combination with a Chandra observation obtained on day 40 after the explosion, the X-ray light curve is constructed, which shows a unique rise of the X-ray emission by a factor of ∼5 over a period of ∼4 months, followed by a rapid decline. We interpret the unique X-ray and UV properties as a result of the SN shock interacting with a shell of material that was deposited by an outburst of the SN progenitor 2 years prior to the explosion. Our results are consistent with the explosion of a Wolf-Rayet star that underwent an episodic mass ejection qualitatively similar to those of luminous blue variable stars prior to its explosion. This led to the formation of a dense (∼107 cm-3) shell at a distance of ∼1016 cm from the site of the explosion, which expands with the WR wind at a velocity of. 1300 ± 300 km s-1.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)L85-L88
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2 PART 2
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2008



    • Circumstellar matter
    • Supernovae: individual (SN 2006jc)
    • Ultraviolet: ISM
    • X-rays: ISM
    • X-rays: general
    • X-rays: individual (SN 2006jc)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

    Cite this

    Immler, S., Modjaz, M., Landsman, W., Bufano, F., Brown, P. J., Milne, P., Dessart, L., Holland, S. T., Koss, M., Pooley, D., Kirshner, R. P., Filippenko, A. V., Panagia, N., Chevalier, R. A., Mazzali, P. A., Gehrels, N., Petre, R., Burrows, D. N., Nousek, J. A., ... Greiner, J. (2008). Swift and chandra detections of supernova 2006jc: Evidence for interaction of the supernova shock with a circumstellar shell. Astrophysical Journal, 674(2 PART 2), L85-L88. https://doi.org/10.1086/529373