A likely inverse-Compton emission from the Type IIb SN 2013df

K. L. Li, A. K.H. Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inverse-Compton X-ray emission model for supernovae has been well established to explain the X-ray properties of many supernovae for over 30 years. However, no observational case has yet been found to connect the X-rays with the optical lights as they should be. Here, we report the discovery of a hard X-ray source that is associated with a Type II-b supernova. Simultaneous emission enhancements have been found in both the X-ray and optical light curves twenty days after the supernova explosion. While the enhanced X-rays are likely dominated by inverse-Compton scatterings of the supernova's lights from the Type II-b secondary peak, we propose a scenario of a high-speed supernova ejecta colliding with a low-density pre-supernova stellar wind that produces an optically thin and high-temperature electron gas for the Comptonization. The inferred stellar wind mass-loss rate is consistent with that of the supernova progenitor candidate as a yellow supergiant detected by the Hubble Space Telescope, providing an independent proof for the progenitor. This is also new evidence of the inverse-Compton emission during the early phase of a supernova.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30638
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 2

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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