Multicolor infrared observations of SN 2006aj. I. The supernova associated with XRF 060218

Daniel Kocevski, Maryam Modjaz, Joshua S. Bloom, Ryan Foley, Daniel Starr, Cullen H. Blake, Emilio E. Falco, Nathaniel R. Butler, Mike Skrutskie, Andrew Szentgyorgyi

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27 Scopus citations


We report simultaneous multicolor near-infrared (NIR) observations of the supernova associated with X-ray flash 060218 during the first 16 days after the high-energy event. We find that the light curve rises and peaks relatively fast compared to other Type Ic supernovae (SNe Ic), with the characteristic broad NIR peak seen in all three bands. We find that the rise profile before the peak is largely independent of NIR wavelength, each band appearing to transition into a plateau phase around day 10-13. Since the light curve is in the plateau phase when our observations end at day 16, we can only place limits on the peak absolute magnitudes, but we estimate that SN 2006aj is one of the lowest NIR luminosity X-ray flash/gamma-ray burst (XRF/GRB) associated SNe observed to date. The broad peaks observed in the JHKs bands point to a large increase in the NIR contribution of the total flux output from days 10-16. This evolution can be seen in the broad color and spectral energy distribution diagrams constructed using UBVRLJHKs monochromatic flux measurements for the first 16 days of the event. Ultimately, a 10 day rise time would make SN 2006aj an extremely fast rise SN Ic event, faster than SN 1998bw and SN 2003dh, which combined with its underluminous nature indicates a lower amount of 56Ni ejected by the progenitor compared to other XRF/GRB-SNe. Furthermore, the lack of significant color change during the rise portion of the burst points to little or no spectral evolution over the first 10 days of activity in the NIR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1186
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Jul 10 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Gamma rays: bursts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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