Supernovae in early-type galaxies: directly connecting age and metallicity with type Ia luminosity.
GALLAGHER J.S., GARNAVICH P.M., CALDWELL N., KIRSHNER R.P., JHA S.W., LI W., GANESHALINGAM M. and FILIPPENKO A.V.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have obtained optical spectra of 29 early-type (E/S0) galaxies that hosted Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We have measured absorption-line strengths and compared them to a grid of models to extract the relations between the supernova properties and the luminosity-weighted age/composition of the host galaxies. Such a direct measurement is a marked improvement over existing analyses that tend to rely on general correlations between the properties of stellar populations and morphology. We find a strong correlation suggesting that SNe Ia in galaxies whose populations have a characteristic age greater than 5 Gyr are ∼1 mag fainter at Vmax than those found in galaxies with younger populations. We find that SN Ia distance residuals in the Hubble diagram are correlated with host-galaxy metal abundance with higher iron abundance galaxies hosting less-luminous supernovae. We thus conclude that the time since progenitor formation primarily determines the radioactive Ni production while progenitor metal abundance has a weaker influence on peak luminosity, but one not fully corrected by light-curve shape and color fitters. This result, particularly the secondary dependence on metallicity, has significant implications for the determination of the equation-of-state parameter, w=P/(ρc2), and could impact planning for future dark-energy missions such as JDEM. Assuming no selection effects in discovering SNe Ia in local early-type galaxies, we find a higher specific SN Ia rate in E/S0 galaxies with ages below 3 Gyr than in older hosts. The higher rate and brighter luminosities seen in the youngest E/S0 hosts may be a result of recent star formation and represents a tail of the ``prompt'' SN Ia progenitors.
Cosmology: Observations - Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD - Galaxies: Fundamental Parameters - Stars: Supernovae: General