Circumstellar Light Echo as a Possible Origin of the Polarization of Type IIP Supernovae

Takashi Nagao, Keiichi Maeda, Masaomi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Type IIP supernovae (SNe IIP) are the most common class of core-collapse SNe. They often show a rapid increase of polarization degree in the late phase. This time evolution is generally believed to originate from the emergence of an inner aspherical core, while the effect of polarized-scattered echoes by circumstellar (CS) dust around the SN may also substantially contribute to this polarization feature. In this study, we examine the effects of the scattered echoes on the SN polarization through radiative transfer simulations for various geometries and amounts of CS dust. It is found that asymmetrically distributed CS dust, which is generally inferred for red supergiants, can reproduce the observed polarization features. We have applied our results to SNe 2004dj and 2006ov, deriving the geometry and amount of CS dust to explain their observed polarization features in this scenario. For both SNe, the blob-like or bipolar distribution of CS dust rather than the disk-like distribution is favored. The derived dust masses Mdust in the blob model (the bipolar CS dust model) for SNe 2004dj and 2006ov are ∼7.5 × 10-4 M (∼8.5 × 10-4 M) and ∼ 5.2 × 10-4 M (∼ 1.3 × 10-3 M) respectively. Even in the case where this process would not play a dominant role in the observed polarization signals, this effect should in principle contribute to it, the strength of which depends on the nature of the CS dust. Therefore, this effect must be taken into account in discussing the multi-dimensional structure of an SN explosion through polarimetric observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberaa8b0d
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


  • circumstellar matter
  • dust extinction
  • polarization
  • radiative transfer
  • stars: mass-loss
  • supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Circumstellar Light Echo as a Possible Origin of the Polarization of Type IIP Supernovae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this