We present spectropolarimetric observations of the Type IIb SN 2001ig in NGC 7424; conducted with the ESO VLT FORS1 on 2001 December 16, 2002 January 3, and 2002 August 16, or 13, 31, and 256 days postexplosion. These observations are at three different stages of the SN evolution: (1) the hydrogen-rich photospheric phase, (2) the Type II to Type Ib transitional phase, and (3) the nebular phase. At each of these stages, the observations show remarkably different polarization properties as a function of wavelength. We show that the degree of interstellar polarization is 0.17%. The low intrinsic polarization (~0.2%) at the first epoch is consistent with an almost spherical (<10% deviation from spherical symmetry) hydrogen-dominated ejecta. Similar to SN 1987A and to Type IIP SNe, a sharp increase in the degree of the polarization (~1%) is observed when the outer hydrogen layer becomes optically thin by day 31; only at this epoch is the polarization well described by a ``dominant axis.'' The polarization angle of the data shows a rotation through ~40° between the first and second epochs, indicating that the asymmetries of the first epoch were not directly coupled with those observed at the second epoch. For the most polarized lines, we observe wavelength-dependent loop structures in addition to the dominant axis on the Q-U plane. We show that the polarization properties of Type IIb SNe are roughly similar to one another, but with significant differences arising due to line blending effects especially with the high velocities observed for SN 2001ig. This suggests that the geometry of SN 2001ig is related to SN 1993J and that these events may have arisen from a similar binary progenitor system.Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory, under programs 68.D-0571 and 69.D-0438.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- Stars: Supernovae: General;
- supernovae: individual (SN 2001ig);
- Techniques: Polarimetric;
- 42 pages, 12 figures (figs. 11 and 12 are both composed of four subpanels, figs. 6,7,8,11 and 12 are in color, fig. 1 is low res and a high res version is available at http://www.as.utexas.edu/~jrm/), ApJ Accepted