A transient radio source consistent with a merger-triggered core collapse supernova

D. Z. Dong, G. Hallinan, E. Nakar, A. Y.Q. Ho, A. K. Hughes, K. Hotokezaka, S. T. Myers, K. De, K. P. Mooley, V. Ravi, A. Horesh, M. M. Kasliwal, S. R. Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A core collapse supernova occurs when exothermic fusion ceases in the core of a massive star, which is typically caused by exhaustion of nuclear fuel. Theory predicts that fusion could be interrupted earlier by merging of the star with a compact binary companion. We report a luminous radio transient, VT J121001+495647, found in the Very Large Array Sky Survey. The radio emission is consistent with supernova ejecta colliding with a dense shell of material, potentially ejected by binary interaction in the centuries before explosion. We associate the supernova with an archival x-ray transient, which implies that a relativistic jet was launched during the explosion. The combination of an early relativistic jet and late-time dense interaction is consistent with expectations for a merger-driven explosion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1129
Number of pages5
Issue number6559
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2021


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