Superluminous supernovae from the Dark Energy Survey

DES Collaboration, C. R. Angus*, M. Smith, M. Sullivan, C. Inserra, P. Wiseman, C. B. D'Andrea, B. P. Thomas, R. C. Nichol, L. Galbany, M. Childress, J. Asorey, P. J. Brown, R. Casas, F. J. Castander, C. Curtin, C. Frohmaier, K. Glazebrook, D. Gruen, C. GutierrezR. Kessler, A. G. Kim, C. Lidman, E. Macaulay, P. Nugent, M. Pursiainen, M. Sako, M. Soares-Santos, R. C. Thomas, T. M. C. Abbott, S. Avila, E. Bertin, D. Brooks, E. Buckley-Geer, D. L. Burke, A. Carnero Rosell, J. Carretero, L. N. da Costa, J. De Vicente, S. Desai, H. T. Diehl, P. Doel, T. F. Eifler, B. Flaugher, P. Fosalba, J. Frieman, J. García-Bellido, R. A. Gruendl, J. Gschwend, W. G. Hartley, D. L. Hollowood, K. Honscheid, B. Hoyle, D. J. James, K. Kuehn, N. Kuropatkin, O. Lahav, M. Lima, M. A. G. Maia, M. March, J. L. Marshall, F. Menanteau, C. J. Miller, R. Miquel, R. L. C. Ogando, A. A. Plazas, A. K. Romer, E. Sanchez, R. Schindler, M. Schubnell, F. Sobreira, E. Suchyta, M. E. C. Swanson, G. Tarle, D. Thomas, D. L. Tucker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a sample of 21 hydrogen-free superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I) and one hydrogen-rich SLSN (SLSN-II) detected during the five-year Dark Energy Survey (DES). These SNe, located in the redshift range 0.220 < z <1.998, represent the largest homogeneously selected sample of SLSN events at high redshift. We present the observed g, r, i, z light curves for these SNe, which we interpolate using Gaussian processes. The resulting light curves are analysed to determine the luminosity function of SLSNe-I, and their evolutionary time-scales. The DES SLSN-I sample significantly broadens the distribution of SLSN-I light-curve properties when combined with existing samples from the literature. We fit a magnetar model to our SLSNe, and find that this model alone is unable to replicate the behaviour of many of the bolometric light curves. We search the DES SLSN-I light curves for the presence of initial peaks prior to the main light-curve peak. Using a shock breakout model, our Monte Carlo search finds that 3 of our 14 events with pre-max data display such initial peaks. However, 10 events show no evidence for such peaks, in some cases down to an absolute magnitude of <−16, suggesting that such features are not ubiquitous to all SLSN-I events. We also identify a red pre-peak feature within the light curve of one SLSN, which is comparable to that observed within SN2018bsz.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2215-2241
Number of pages27
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • supernovae: general

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