Astronomy: ASASSN-15lh: A highly super-luminous supernova

Subo Dong, B. J. Shappee, J. L. Prieto, S. W. Jha, K. Z. Stanek, T. W.S. Holoien, C. S. Kochanek, T. A. Thompson, N. Morrell, I. B. Thompson, U. Basu, J. F. Beacom, D. Bersier, J. Brimacombe, J. S. Brown, F. Bufano, Ping Chen, E. Conseil, A. B. Danilet, E. FalcoD. Grupe, S. Kiyota, G. Masi, B. Nicholls, F. E. Olivares, G. Pignata, G. Pojmanski, G. V. Simonian, D. M. Szczygiel, P. R. Woźniak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


We report the discovery of ASASSN-15lh (SN 2015L), which we interpret as the most luminous supernova yet found. At redshift z = 0.2326, ASASSN-15lh reached an absolute magnitude of Mu,AB = -23.5 ± 0.1 and bolometric luminosity Lbol = (2.2 ± 0.2) × 1045 ergs s-1, which is more than twice as luminous as any previously known supernova. It has several major features characteristic of the hydrogen-poor super-luminous supernovae (SLSNe-I), whose energy sources and progenitors are currently poorly understood. In contrast to most previously known SLSNe-I that reside in star-forming dwarf galaxies, ASASSN-15lh appears to be hosted by a luminous galaxy (MK ∼ -25.5) with little star formation. In the 4 months since first detection, ASASSN-15lh radiated (1.1 ± 0.2) × 1052 ergs, challenging the magnetar model for its engine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-260
Number of pages4
Issue number6270
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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