Hypernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and first stars

Ken'ichi Nomoto, Masaomi Tanaka, Nozomu Tominaga, Keiichi Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The connection between long gamma ray bursts (GRBs) and supernovae (SNe), have been established through the well observed cases of GRB980425/SN 1998bw, GRB030329/SN 2003dh and GRB031203/SN 2003lw. These events can be explained as the prompt collapse to a black hole (BH) of the core of a massive star (M∼40M) that had lost its outer hydrogen and helium envelopes. All these SNe exhibited strong oxygen lines, thus being classified as Type Ic, and their energies were much larger than those of typical SNe, thus these SNe are called hypernovae (HNe). The case of SN 2006aj/GRB060218 appears different: the GRB was weak and soft (an X-Ray Flash, XRF); the SN is dimmer and has very weak oxygen lines. The explosion energy of SN 2006aj was smaller, as was the ejected mass. In our model, the progenitor star had a smaller mass than other GRB/SNe (M∼20M), suggesting that a neutron star (NS) rather than a black hole was formed. If the nascent neutron star was strongly magnetized (magnetar) and rapidly spinning, it may launch a weak GRB or an XRF. The final fate of 20-30M stars show interesting variety, as seen in the very peculiar Type Ib/c SN 2005bf. This mass range corresponds to the NS to BH transition. We also compare the nucleosynthesis feature of HNe with the metal-poor stars and suggest the connection between hypernovae and first stars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Issue number3-6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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