Journal Article

<span class="smallCaps">nero</span>– a post-maximum supernova radiation transport code

I. Maurer, A. Jerkstrand, P. A. Mazzali, S. Taubenberger, S. Hachinger, M. Kromer, S. Sim and W. Hillebrandt

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 418, issue 3, pages 1517-1525
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19376.x
nero– a post-maximum supernova radiation transport code

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The interpretation of supernova (SN) spectra is essential for deriving SN ejecta properties such as density and composition, which in turn can tell us about their progenitors and the explosion mechanism. A very large number of atomic processes are important for spectrum formation. Several tools for calculating SN spectra exist, but they mainly focus on the very early or late epochs. The intermediate phase, which requires a non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) treatment of radiation transport has rarely been studied.

In this paper, we present a new SN radiation transport code, nero, which can look at those epochs. All the atomic processes are treated in full NLTE, under a steady-state assumption. This is a valid approach between roughly 50 and 500 days after the explosion depending on SN type. This covers the post-maximum photospheric and the early and the intermediate nebular phase.

As a test, we compare nero to the radiation transport code of Jerkstrand, Fransson & Kozma and to the nebular code of Mazzali et al. All three codes have been developed independently and a comparison provides a valuable opportunity to investigate their reliability. Currently, nero is one-dimensional and can be used for predicting spectra of synthetic explosion models or for deriving SN properties by spectral modelling. To demonstrate this, we study the spectra of the ‘normal’ Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2005cf between 50 and 350 days after the explosion and identify most of the common SN Ia line features at post-maximum epochs.

Keywords: line: formation; radiative transfer; supernovae: general

Journal Article.  6624 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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