We report evidence for excess blue light from the Type Ia supernova (Sn Ia) SN 2012cg at 15 and 16 days before maximum B-band brightness. The emission is consistent with predictions for the impact of the supernova on a non-degenerate binary companion. This is the first evidence for emission from a companion to a normal SN Ia. Sixteen days before maximum light, the color of SN 2012cg is 0.2 mag bluer than for other normal SN Ia. At later times, this supernova has a typical SN Ia light curve, with extinction-corrected mag and . Our data set is extensive, with photometry in seven filters from five independent sources. Early spectra also show the effects of blue light, and high-velocity features are observed at early times. Near maximum, the spectra are normal with a silicon velocity vSi = -10,500 km s-1. Comparing the early data with models by Kasen favors a main-sequence companion of about six solar masses. It is possible that many other SN Ia have main-sequence companions that have eluded detection because the emission from the impact is fleeting and faint.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- supernovae: general
- supernovae: individual (2012cg)