One of the main questions concerning Type Ia supernovae is the nature of the binary companion of the exploding white dwarf. A major discriminant between different suggested models is the presence and physical properties of circumstellar material at the time of explosion. If present, this material will be ionized by the ultraviolet radiation of the explosion and later recombine. This ionization-recombination should manifest itself as time-variable absorption features that can be detected via multi-epoch high-spectral-resolution observations. Previous studies have shown that the strongest effect is seen in the neutral sodium D lines. We report on observations of neutral sodium absorption features observed in multi-epoch high-resolution spectra of 14 Type Ia supernova events. This is the first multi-epoch high-resolution study to include multiple SNe. No variability in line strength that can be associated with circumstellar material is detected in the events presented in this paper. If we include previously published events, we find that ~18 per cent of the events in the extended sample exhibit time-variable sodium features associated with circumstellar material. We explore the implication of this study on our understanding of the progenitor systems of Type Ia supernovae via the current Type Ia supernova multi-epoch high-spectral-resolution sample. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
- Spectral resolution
- White dwarfs