AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 32. Core-Collapse of Massive Stars: Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts
Topical Session Oral, Tuesday, June 4, 2002, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:00-3:30pm, 3:45-5:30pm, Ballroom C

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[32.04] Observed Properties of Core-Collapse Supernovae

M. Hamuy (The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Stars born with more than 8 solar masses are thought to end their lives in a dramatic collapse of their central cores and the subsequent explosion of their outer envelopes. Core-collapse supernovae prove to comprise the most common general class of exploding star in the Universe, each releasing ~1051 ergs of mechanical energy and enriching the interstellar medium with several solar masses of new chemical elements. However, their astrophysical importance is no longer limited to the central role they play in the chemical evolution of the Universe and in the shaping of the galaxies themselves, but now extends to the possibility that a fraction of them might be the source of the enigmatic gamma-ray bursts. Core-collapse supernovae come in a great variety of flavors. Observers classify them according to the presence or absence of H and He in their early-time spectrum. In this paper, I summarize the observational properties (light curves, colors, spectra) of all subtypes of core-collapse supernovae. The great diversity displayed by these objects, even among members of a given subclass, is evidence for large variations in explosion energy and in the properties of their progenitors. I show that, despite these large variations, there are still regularities which provide valuable constraints on the explosion mechanism. Finally, I summarize radio observations of core-collapse supernovae and the implications of such data concerning both possible supernova progenitors and the circumstellar material surrounding them.

Support for this work was provided by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF-01139.01-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.