Probing cosmic ray ion acceleration with radio-submm and gamma-ray emission from interaction-powered supernovae

Kohta Murase, Todd A. Thompson, Eran O. Ofek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The optical and near-IR emission from some classes of supernovae (SNe), including Type IIn and possibly some super-luminous SNe, is likely powered by a collision between the SN ejecta and dense circumstellar material (CSM). We argue that for a range of CSM masses and their radii, a collisionless shock can form, allowing for efficient cosmic ray (CR) acceleration. We show that pp collisions between these newly accelerated CRs and the CSM leads to not only gamma rays but also secondary electrons and positrons that radiate synchrotron photons in the high-frequency radio bands. Our estimates imply that various facilities including the Jansky Very Large Array (and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA) may observe such SNe at Gpc distances by followup observations in months-to-years, although the detectability strongly depends on the CSM density as well as observed frequency. Detecting this signal would give us a unique probe of CR acceleration at early times, and even non-detections can put interesting limits on the possibility of CR ion acceleration. Following our previous work, we also show that GeV gamma rays can escape from the system without severe attenuation, encouraging point-source and stacking analyses with Fermi. We provide recipes for diagnosing interaction-powered SN scenario with multi-messenger (neutrino and gamma-ray) observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2528-2543
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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