Supernova (SN) 2008D/XRT 080109 is considered to be the only direct detection of a shock breakout from a regular SN to date. While a breakout interpretation was favored by several papers, inconsistencies remain between the observations and current SN shock breakout theory. Most notably, the duration of the luminous X-ray pulse is considerably longer than expected for a spherical breakout through the surface of a type Ibc SN progenitor, and the X-ray radiation features, mainly its flat spectrum and its luminosity evolution, are enigmatic. We apply a recently developed theoretical model for the observed radiation from a Wolf-Rayet SN exploding through a thick wind and show that it naturally explains all the observed features of SN 2008D X-ray emission, including the energetics, the spectrum and the detailed luminosity evolution. We find that the inferred progenitor and SN parameters are typical for an exploding Wolf-Rayet. A comparison of the wind density found at the breakout radius to the density at much larger radii, as inferred by late radio observations, suggests an enhanced mass loss rate taking effect about ten days or less prior to the SN explosion. This finding joins accumulating evidence for a possible late phase in the stellar evolution of massive stars, involving vigorous mass loss a short time before the SN explosion.
G. Svirski and E. Nakar
Mon, 17 Mar 14