Supernova (SN) 2002ap in M74 was discovered on 2002 January 29. Being one of the nearest (10Mpc) SN events in the last decades, and spectroscopically similar to the so-called `hypernovae' 1997ef and 1998bw, both possibly associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), it is of great interest. Shortly after its discovery, we launched an intensive photometric and spectroscopic monitoring campaign of this event, and here we report the results of the first month of observations. We use our UBVRI photometry to estimate the magnitudes at, and dates of, peak brightness. Our data suggest that this object reached its peak B-band luminosity on February 7.1+2-1.3UT. Based on its similarity to SN 1998bw, we estimate the range of possible dates for a GRB that may have been associated with SN 2002ap. We find that it may include dates outside the time frame for which all available gamma-ray data have been intensively scanned, according to recent reports. The absolute magnitude at peak brightness of SN 2002ap (MB=-16.9) shows that it was significantly fainter than SN 1998bw, or normal Type Ia SNe, but similar to SN 1997ef. Our spectroscopic observations confirm that SN 2002ap is strikingly similar to SNe 1998bw and 1997ef. We briefly describe the spectral evolution of this object. To assist other observers and to stimulate theoretical models, we make our entire data set publicly available in digital form (http://wise-obs.tau.ac.il/~avishay/local.html).
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- June 2002
- supernovae: individual: SN 2002ap;
- gamma-rays: bursts;
- 5 pages, including 4 figures. MNRAS (pink pages) in press. Data available electronically from http://wise-obs.tau.ac.il/~avishay/local.html