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The Host Galaxy of the Nearby, Luminous Type IIn SN 2010jl is Metal Poor: Implications

ATEL # 3010; J. L. Prieto (Carnegie Observatories), K. Z. Stanek (Ohio State University)
on 5 Nov 2010; 23:30 UT
Password Certification: Jose L. Prieto (

Subjects: Optical, Nova, Supernova, Transients

We report that the recently discovered, luminous (approx. absolute mag -20.4) and nearby (z=0.011) type IIn supernova SN 2010jl (CBET #2532, CBET #2536) has a host galaxy with optical imaging and spectra obtained by the SDSS survey and is included in the DR4 catalog of galaxy metallicities published by Tremonti et al. (2004, ApJ, 613, 898). The oxygen abundance of the blue, irregular, strongly star-forming host estimated by Tremonti et al. using strong recombination and forbidden emission lines in the spectrum is 12 + log(O/H) = 8.15 +/- 0.1 dex, a metal poor environment (0.2 x Solar, using Solar oxygen abundance from Delahaye & Pinsonneault 2006, ApJ, 649, 529). Pilyugin & Thuan (2007, ApJ, 669, 299) obtain 12 + log(O/H) = 8.3 dex from the same SDSS spectrum of the galaxy applying the direct electron temperature method using the detection of the [O III] 4363 auroral line, which is consistent with the Tremonti et al. value.

The total integrated absolute magnitude of the host UGC 5189 is MB = -19.3 mag (Pilyugin & Thuan 2007, ApJ, 669, 299). The SDSS images show that the galaxy is fairly irregular and extended, probably an interaction and/or merger with several bright clumps. These properties are reminiscent (and likely a "local" counterpart) of luminous, metal-poor galaxies that were identified as outliers in the mass-metallicity relation by Peeples et al. (2009, ApJ, 695, 259).

The metal-poor environment of the luminous type IIn supernova 2010jl adds to the evidence presented by Kozlowski et al. (2010, ApJ, 722, 1624) showing that the most luminous core-collapse SNe might prefer metal-poor progenitor stars, tentatively connecting them with GRB hosts and progenitors (e.g., Stanek et al. 2006, AcA, 56, 333).

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