The Very Young Type Ia Supernova 2013dy: Discovery, and Strong Carbon Absorption in Early-Time Spectra [CEA]

The Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2013dy in NGC 7250 (d ~ 13.7 Mpc) was discovered by the Lick Observatory Supernova Search. Combined with a prediscovery detection by the Italian Supernova Search Project, we are able to constrain the first-light time of SN 2013dy to be only 0.10 +/- 0.05 d (2.4 +/- 1.2 hr) before the first detection. This makes SN 2013dy the earliest known detection of an SN Ia. We infer an upper limit on the radius of the progenitor star of R_0 < 0.25 R_sun, consistent with that of a white dwarf. The light curve exhibits a broken power law with exponents of 0.88 and then 1.80. A spectrum taken 1.63 d after first light reveals a C II absorption line comparable in strength to Si II. This is the strongest C II feature ever detected in a normal SN Ia, suggesting that the progenitor star had significant unburned material. The C II line in SN 2013dy weakens rapidly and is undetected in a spectrum 7 days later, indicating that C II is detectable for only a very short time in some SNe Ia. SN 2013dy reached a B-band maximum of M_B = -18.72 +/- 0.03 mag ~17.7 d after first light.

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Date added: Tue, 22 Oct 13