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Paper: Spectropolarimetry of Core-Collapse Supernovae
Volume: 342, 1604-2004: Supernovae as Cosmological Lighthouses
Page: 330
Authors: Leonard, D.C.; Filippenko, A.V.
Abstract: We briefly review the young field of spectropolarimetry of corecollapse supernovae (SNe). Spectropolarimetry provides the only direct known probe of early-time supernova geometry. The fundamental result is that asphericity is a ubiquitous feature of young core-collapse SNe. However, the nature and degree of the asphericity vary considerably. The best predictor of core-collapse SN polarization seems to be the mass of the hydrogen envelope that is intact at the time of the explosion: those SNe that arise from progenitors with large, intact envelopes (e.g., Type II-plateau) have very low polarization, while those that result from progenitors that have lost part (SN IIb, SN IIn) or all (SN Ib) of their hydrogen (or even helium; SN Ic) layers prior to the explosion tend to show substantial polarization. Thus, the deeper we probe into core-collapse events, the greater the asphericity seems to be, suggesting a fundamentally asymmetric explosion with the asymmetry damped by the addition of envelope material.
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