Multi-band Polarization of Type IIP Supernovae Due to Light Echo from Circumstellar Dust

Takashi Nagao, Keiichi Maeda, Masaomi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Type IIP supernovae (SNe IIP) often show relatively high continuum polarization (∼1%) in the late phase. This polarization feature is generally believed to be due to an inner aspherical core revealed in the late phase, while this polarization feature can also be contributed by the effect of polarized-scattered echoes by circumstellar (CS) dust around the SN. In this paper, we propose a unique method to distinguish polarization from the SN ejecta and from the light echo. We quantitatively examine wavelength dependence of the polarization created by the scattered echoes for various geometries and amounts of CS dust. It is found that the polarization in the U-band has characteristic features, i.e., the polarization emerges at an earlier phase with higher polarization degree than that in longer wavelengths. These are due to the rapid evolution of the U-band light curve as well as higher optical depth of dust in shorter wavelengths. Except for the U band, the polarization increases after the plateau phase, and the polarization degree is generally higher for shorter wavelengths. These polarimetric features can be easily distinguished from the polarization expected from an aspherical core, which predicts almost no wavelength dependence. Moreover, we show that multi-band polarimetric observations for SNe IIP can constrain a parameter space in the CS dust mass and distance from the SNe. We thus encourage multi-band polarimetric observations for SNe IIP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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