Journal Article

Detectability of high-redshift superluminous supernovae with upcoming optical and near-infrared surveys

Masaomi Tanaka, Takashi J. Moriya, Naoki Yoshida and Ken’ichi Nomoto

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 422, issue 3, pages 2675-2684
Published in print May 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Detectability of high-redshift superluminous supernovae with upcoming optical and near-infrared surveys

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Observations of high-redshift supernovae (SNe) open a novel opportunity to study the massive star population in the early Universe. We study the detectability of superluminous SNe with upcoming optical and near-infrared (NIR) surveys. Our calculations are based on the cosmic star-formation history, the SN occurrence rate, the characteristic colour and the light curve of the SNe, which are all calibrated using available observations. We show that 15–150 SNe up to z∼ 4 will be discovered by the proposed Subaru/Hyper Suprime-Cam deep survey, a 30-deg2 survey with 24.5 AB mag depth in the z band for 3 months. With its ultradeep layer (3.5 deg2 with 25.6 AB mag depth in the z band for 4 months), the highest redshift can be extended to z∼ 5. We further explore the detectability by upcoming NIR surveys utilizing future satellites such as Euclid, WFIRST and WISH. The wide-field NIR surveys are very efficient at detecting high-redshift SNe. With a hypothetical deep NIR survey for 100 deg2 with 26 AB mag depth, at least ∼50 SNe will be discovered at z > 3 in half a year. The number of detected SNe can place a strong constraint on the stellar initial mass function or its slope, especially at the high-mass end. Superluminous SNe at high redshifts can be distinguished from other types of SNe by the long time-scale of their light curves in the observer’s frame, optical colours redder than other core-collapse SNe and NIR colours redder than any other type of SNe.

Keywords: stars: luminosity function, mass function; supernovae: general; early Universe

Journal Article.  7193 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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