Strong evolution of X-ray absorption in the type IIn supernova SN 2010jl

Poonam Chandra*, Roger A. Chevalier, Christopher M. Irwin, Nikolai Chugai, Claes Fransson, Alicia M. Soderberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report two epochs of Chandra-ACIS X-ray imaging spectroscopy of the nearby bright TypeIIn supernova SN 2010jl, taken around two months and then a year after the explosion. The majority of the X-ray emission in both spectra is characterized by a high temperature (≳ 10 keV) and is likely to be from the forward shocked region resulting from circumstellar interaction. The absorption column density in the first spectrum is high (1024cm-2), more than three orders of magnitude higher than the Galactic absorption column, and we attribute it to absorption by circumstellar matter. In the second epoch observation, the column density has decreased by a factor of three, as expected for shock propagation in the circumstellar medium. The unabsorbed 0.2-10 keV luminosity at both epochs is 7 × 1041 erg s-1. The 6.4 keV Fe line clearly present in the first spectrum is not detected in the second spectrum. The strength of the fluorescent line is roughly that expected for the column density of circumstellar gas, provided the Fe is not highly ionized. There is also evidence for an absorbed power-law component in both spectra, which we attribute to a background ultraluminous X-ray source.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL2
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • X-rays: general
  • circumstellar matter
  • hydrodynamics
  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual (SN 2010jl)


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