Nebular spectrum of superluminous supernova reveals GRB connection!

Evidence of a connection between superluminous supernovae and the hypernovae that accompany long gamma-ray bursts has been building for a few years now. There was even a whole conference this summer at the Space Telescope Science Institute to discuss it (the vote came out pretty evenly split!). But now we have what seems to be the strongest evidence yet. Our results (published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters and available here) show that once these supernovae have expanded sufficiently that the ejected material has become transparent, the two classes look virtually identical! This indicates a similar composition and density structure, and may be a clue that the two types of supernova result from similar stars or explosion mechanisms.

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