Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal


Department of Physics and Astronomy


SN 1997ef has been recognized as a peculiar supernova from its light curve and spectral properties. The object was classified as a Type Ic supernova (SN Ic) because its spectra were dominated by broad absorption lines of oxygen and iron, lacking any clear signs of hydrogen or helium line features. The light curve is very different from that of previously known SNe Ic, showing a very broad peak and a slow tail. The strikingly broad line features in the spectra of SN 1997ef, which were also seen in the hypernova SN 1998bw, suggest the interesting possibility that SN 1997ef may also be a hypernova. The light curve and spectra of SN 1997ef were modeled first with a standard SN Ic model assuming an ordinary kinetic energy of explosion EK = 1051 ergs. The explosion of a CO star of mass MCO ≈ 6 M gives a reasonably good fit to the light curve but clearly fails to reproduce the broad spectral features. Then, models with larger masses and energies were explored. Both the light curve and the spectra of SN 1997ef are much better reproduced by a C+O star model with EK = 8 × 1051 ergs and MCO = 10 M. Therefore, we conclude that SN 1997ef is very likely a hypernova on the basis of its kinetic energy of explosion. Finally, implications for the deviation from spherical symmetry are discussed in an effort to improve the fits to the observations.