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Title: Exploring the geometries of core-collapse supernovae with spectropolarimetry
Author: Reilly, Emma Mary Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 5747
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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The death of a massive star in a core collapse supernova (CCSN) is one of the most spectacular events in the universe, producing a burst of radiation that can briefly out-shine their host galaxies. The lives and deaths of these massive stars have shaped the visible universe, they are the driving force behind the physical and chemical evolution of their host galaxies and responsible for the heavy elements that make up the building blocks of life. The most intriguing and mysterious aspect of the cataclysmic explosions is the explosion mechanism itself. Traditionally speaking, supernovae are thought of as spherically symmetric explosions, however a growing body of evidence has accumulated that suggests that strong asymmetries are prevalent in these events. Spectropolarimetry is a powerful tool to investigate the 3D geometry of the spatially unresolved eruptions and explosive deaths of massive stars, as supernovae. It can reveal not only the real time evolution in the shape of the supernovae ejecta but also the nature of the mass loss history of the progenitor star. Polarimetric studies of extragalactic supernovae have revealed that significant departures from spherical symmetry exist in most, if not all supernovae. The degree of asymmetry increases as deeper layers of the ejecta are revealed, signalling that the observed asymmetries in CCSNe originate in the explosion mechanism. The work presented here builds on earlier polarimetric investigations into the asymmetry of the core-collapse explosion mechanism. Multi-epoch spectropolarimetric observations of the most recent outburst of Type 1 In supernova/supernova-impostor SN 2009ip and the Type lb supernova iPTF13bvn are presented with the aim of constraining the geometry of the power source. Revealing the bipolar explosion of SN 2009ip set within a disk-like circumstellar medium inclined with respect to the observer and the complex distribution of radioactive nickel in the explosion of iPTF13bvn.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available