Dust around Type Ia supernovae Page: 1 of 12
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Dust around Type Ia supernovae
'Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Rd, Berkeley, CA 94712
2 Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing, China
An explanation is given of the low value of RA - AA/E(B - V), the ratio
of absolute to selective extinction deduced from Type Ia supernova observations.
The idea involves scattering by dust clouds located in the circumstellar environ-
ment, or at the highest velocity shells of the supernova ejecta. The scattered
light tends to reduce the effective RA in the optical, but has an opposite effect in
the ultraviolet. The presence of circumstellar dust can be tested by ultraviolet
to near infrared observations and by multi-epoch spectropolarimetry of SNe Ia.
Subject headings: Supernovae: General, Dust, Extinction
Dust extinction of SNe Ia is of critical importance to supernova cosmology. New studies
show that when correcting the observed B magnitudes of SNe Ia to the observed B - V
colors, the coefficient is generally found to be around 2-3 instead of the value of about
RB AB/E(B - V) = 4.1 as expected for dust extinction in the Galaxy and the LMC
(Tripp & Branch 1999; Phillips et al. 1999; Wang et al. 2003; Knop et al. 2003; Wang et al.
2005). This small value is likely caused by a combination of intrinsic color dependence of
SN luminosity and dust extinction. Some recent works however show that for several well
observed highly extinct SNe Ia, RB were found to be in the same range as deduced from
cosmology fits (e.g. Krisciunas et al. (2001, 2004)). These studies seem to suggest that
dust in SN hosts are systematically different from those in the Galaxy and the LMC. Here
I propose an alternative explanation that does not require such a difference.
2. The circumstellar dust of SNe Ia
There might be circumstellar (CS) dust around the progenitor systems of SNe Ia. In
such cases extinction correction can not be performed by assuming a standard interstellar
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Wang, Lifan. Dust around Type Ia supernovae, article, October 20, 2005; Berkeley, California. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc884055/m1/1/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.