A very luminous magnetar-powered supernova associated with an ultra-long ϒ-ray burst

Jochen Greiner, Paolo A. Mazzali, D.Alexander Kann, Thomas Krühler, Elena Pian, Simon Prentice, Felipe Olivares E., Andrea Rossi, Sylvio Klose, Stefan Taubenberger, Fabian Knust, Paulo M. J. Afonso, Chris Ashall, Jan Bolmer, Corentin Delvaux, Roland Diehl, Jonathan Elliott, Robert Filgas, Johan P. U. Fynbo, John F. GrahamAna Nicuesa Guelbenzu, Shiho Kobayashi, Giorgos Leloudas, Sandra Savaglio, Patricia Schady, Sebastian Schmidl, Tassilo Schweyer, Vladimir Sudilovsky, Mohit Tanga, Adria C. Updike, Hendrik van Eerten, Karla Varela

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A new class of ultra-long-duration (more than 10,000 seconds) γ-ray bursts has recently been suggested1,2,3. They may originate in the explosion of stars with much larger radii than those producing normal long-duration γ-ray bursts3,4 or in the tidal disruption of a star3. No clear supernova has yet been associated with an ultra-long-duration γ-ray burst. Here we report that a supernova (SN 2011kl) was associated with the ultra-long-duration γ-ray burst GRB 111209A, at a redshift z of 0.677. This supernova is more than three times more luminous than type Ic supernovae associated with long-duration γ-ray bursts5,6,7, and its spectrum is distinctly different. The slope of the continuum resembles those of super-luminous supernovae8,9, but extends further down into the rest-frame ultraviolet implying a low metal content. The light curve evolves much more rapidly than those of super-luminous supernovae. This combination of high luminosity and low metal-line opacity cannot be reconciled with typical type Ic supernovae, but can be reproduced by a model where extra energy is injected by a strongly magnetized neutron star (a magnetar), which has also been proposed as the explanation for super-luminous supernovae10.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-192
Number of pages4
Issue number7559
Early online date8 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2015


  • High-energy astrophysicsm


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