Letter to the Editor
Pair creation supernovae at low and high redshift
Astronomical Institute, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
2 The Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Campus, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
3 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
4 Astronomical Institute , University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5 Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, NI, UK
6 Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Accepted: 26 September 2007
Aims.Pair creation supernovae (PCSN) are thought to be produced from very massive low metallicity stars. The spectacularly bright SN 2006gy does show several signatures expected from PCSNe. Here, we investigate the metallicity threshold below which PCSN can form and estimate their occurrence rate.
Methods.We perform stellar evolution calculations for stars of 150 and 250 of low metallicity (/5 and /20), and analyze their mass loss rates.
Results.We find that the bifurcation between quasi-chemically homogeneous evolution for fast rotation and conventional evolution for slower rotation, which has been found earlier for massive low metallicity stars, persists in the mass range considered here. Consequently, there are two separate PCSN progenitor types: (I) fast rotators produce PCSNe from very massive Wolf-Rayet stars, and (II) slower rotators that generate PCSNe in hydrogen-rich massive yellow hypergiants.
Conclusions.We find that hydrogen-rich PCSNe could occur at metallicities as high as /3, which – assuming standard IMFs are still valid to estimate their birth rates – results in a rate of about one PCSN per 1000 supernovae in the local universe, and one PCSN per 100 supernovae at a redshift of . PCSNe from WC-type Wolf-Rayet stars are restricted to much lower metallicity.
Key words: stars: rotation / stars: evolution / stars: winds, outflows / stars: supernovae: general
© ESO, 2007