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A Hubble Space Telescope survey of the host galaxies of superluminous supernovae

Angus, CR and Levan, AJ and Perley, DA and Tanvir, NR and Lyman, JD and Stanway, ER and Fruchter, AS (2016) A Hubble Space Telescope survey of the host galaxies of superluminous supernovae. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 458 (1). pp. 84-104. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We present Hubble Space Telescope (HST)Wide Field Camera 3UVand near-IR (nIR) imaging of 21 Superluminous Supernovae (SLSNe) host galaxies, providing a sensitive probe of star formation and stellar mass within the hosts. Comparing the photometric and morphological properties of these host galaxies with those of core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe) and longduration gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs), we find SLSN hosts are fainter and more compact at both UV and nIR wavelengths, in some cases we barely recover hosts with absolute magnitude aroundMV≠-14.With the addition of ground based optical observations and archival results, we produce spectral energy distribution fits to these hosts, and show that SLSN hosts possess lower stellar mass and star formation rates. This is most pronounced for the hydrogen deficient Type-I SLSN hosts, although Type-II H-rich SLSN host galaxies remain distinct from the bulk of CCSNe, spanning a remarkably broad range of absolute magnitudes, with ~30 per cent of SLSNe-II arising from galaxies fainter than MnIR ~-14. The detection of our faintest SLSN hosts increases the confidence that SLSNe-I hosts are distinct from those of LGRBs in star formation rate and stellar mass, and suggests that apparent similarities in metallicity may be due to the limited fraction of hosts for which emission line metallicity measurements are feasible. The broad range of luminosities of SLSN-II hosts is difficult to describe bymetallicity cuts, and does not match the expectations of any reasonable UV-weighted luminosity function, suggesting additional environmental constraints are likely necessary to yield hydrogen rich SLSNe.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2017 12:08
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 13:16
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stw063
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5583

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