Article open access publication

Extensive HST ultraviolet spectra and multiwavelength observations of SN 2014J in M82 indicate reddening and circumstellar scattering by typical dust

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP), ISSN 1365-2966

Volume 443, 4, 2014

DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu1378, Dimensions: pub.1059914011,



  1. (1) University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, grid.35403.31
  2. (2) University of California, Berkeley, grid.47840.3f
  3. (3) Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, grid.430387.b
  4. (4) Las Campanas Observatory, grid.440392.8
  5. (5) Texas Tech University, grid.264784.b
  6. (6) Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, grid.455754.2
  7. (7) Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, grid.440880.0
  8. (8) Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, grid.452596.9
  9. (9) Stockholm University, grid.10548.38
  10. (10) The University of Texas at Austin, grid.89336.37
  11. (11) University of Virginia, grid.27755.32
  12. (12) Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, grid.424699.4
  13. (13) Andrés Bello University, grid.412848.3
  14. (14) Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, grid.450287.c
  15. (15) University of Würzburg, grid.8379.5
  16. (16) Mount Stromlo Observatory, grid.440325.4
  17. (17) Aarhus University, grid.7048.b, AU


SN 2014J in M82 is the closest detected Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) in at least 28 yr and perhaps in 410 yr. Despite its small distance of 3.3 Mpc, SN 2014J is surprisingly faint, peaking at V = 10.6 mag, and assuming a typical SN Ia luminosity, we infer an observed visual extinction of AV = 2.0 ± 0.1 mag. But this picture, with RV = 1.6 ± 0.2, is too simple to account for all observations. We combine 10 epochs (spanning a month) of HST/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) ultraviolet through near-infrared spectroscopy with HST/Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope, and FanCam photometry from the optical to the infrared and nine epochs of high-resolution TRES (Tillinghast Reflection Echelle Spectrograph) spectroscopy to investigate the sources of extinction and reddening for SN 2014J. We argue that the wide range of observed properties for SN 2014J is caused by a combination of dust reddening, likely originating in the interstellar medium of M82, and scattering off circumstellar material. For this model, roughly half of the extinction is caused by reddening from typical dust (E(B − V) = 0.45 mag and RV = 2.6) and roughly half by scattering off Large Magellanic Cloud-like dust in the circumstellar environment of SN 2014J.

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