Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-20-2002

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal

Abstract

Near-infrared observations are presented for five Type IIn supernovae (SN 1995N, SN 1997ab, SN 1998S, SN 1999Z, and SN 1999el) that exhibit strong infrared excesses at late times (t > 100 days). H- and K-band emission from these objects is dominated by a continuum that rises toward longer wavelengths. The data are interpreted as thermal emission from dust, probably situated in a preexisting circumstellar nebula. The IR luminosities implied by single-temperature blackbody fits are quite large, >1041-1042 ergs s-1, and the emission evolves slowly, lasting for years after maximum light. For SN 1995N, the integrated energy release via IR dust emission was ≈0.5-1 × 1050 ergs. A number of dust heating scenarios are considered, the most likely being an infrared echo powered by X-ray and UV emissions from the shock interaction with a dense circumstellar medium.

DOI

10.1086/341430

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