Chemistry and Star Formation in the Host Galaxies of Type Ia Supernovae
Gallagher, Joseph S.
Garnavich, Peter M.
Kirshner, Robert P.
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CitationGallagher, Joseph S., Peter M. Garnavich, Perry Berlind, Peter Challis, Saurabh Jha, and Robert P. Kirshner. 2005. “Chemistry and Star Formation in the Host Galaxies of Type Ia Supernovae.” The Astrophysical Journal 634 (1): 210–26. https://doi.org/10.1086/491664.
AbstractWe study the effect of environment on the properties of Type Ia supernovae by analyzing the integrated spectra of 57 local Type Ia supernova host galaxies. We deduce from the spectra the metallicity, current star formation rate, and star formation history of the host and compare these to the supernova decline rates. Additionally, we compare the host properties to the difference between the derived supernova distance and the distance determined from the best-fit Hubble law. From this we investigate possible uncorrected systematic effects inherent in the calibration of Type Ia supernova luminosities using light-curve fitting techniques. Our results indicate a statistically insignificant correlation in the direction of higher metallicity spiral galaxies hosting fainter Type Ia supernovae. However, we present qualitative evidence suggesting that progenitor age is more likely to be the source of variability in supernova peak luminosities than is metallicity. We do not find a correlation between the supernova decline rate and host galaxy absolute B magnitude, nor do we find evidence of a significant relationship between decline rate and current host galaxy star formation rate. A tenuous correlation is observed between the supernova Hubble residuals and host galaxy metallicities. Further host galaxy observations will be needed to refine the significance of this result. Finally, we characterize the environmental property distributions for Type Ia supernova host galaxies through a comparison with two larger, more general galaxy distributions using Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests. The results show the host galaxy metallicity distribution to be similar to the metallicity distributions of the galaxies of the NFGS and SDSS. Significant differences are observed between the SN Ia distributions of absolute B magnitude and star formation histories and the corresponding distributions of galaxies in the NFGS and SDSS. Among these is an abrupt upper limit observed in the distribution of star formation histories of the host galaxy sample, suggesting a Type Ia supernovae characteristic delay time lower limit of approximately 2.0 Gyr. Other distribution discrepancies are investigated and the effects on the supernova properties are discussed.
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