A spectroscopic look at the gravitationally lensed Type Ia supernova 2016geu at z = 0.409

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The spectacular success of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) in SN-cosmology is based on the assumption that their photometric and spectroscopic properties are invariant with redshift. However, this fundamental assumption needs to be tested with observations of high-z SNe Ia. To date, the majority of SNe Ia observed at moderate to large redshifts (0.4 le z le 1.0) are faint, and the resultant analyses are based on observations with modest signal-to-noise ratios that impart a degree of ambiguity in their determined properties. In rare cases, however, the Universe offers a helping hand: To date a few SNe Ia have been observed that have had their luminosities magnified by intervening galaxies and galaxy clusters acting as gravitational lenses. In this paper, we present long-slit spectroscopy of the lensed SN Ia 2016geu, which occurred at a redshift of z = 0.409, and was magnified by a factor of ap55 by a galaxy located at z = 0.216. We compared our spectra, which were obtained a couple of weeks to a couple of months past peak light, with the spectroscopic properties of well-observed, nearby SNe Ia, finding that SN 2016geu's properties are commensurate with those of SNe Ia in the local Universe. Based primarily on the velocity and strength of the Si II $6355 absorption feature, we find that SN 2016geu can be classified as a high-velocity, high-velocity-gradient and 'core-normal' SN Ia. The strength of various features (measured though their pseudo-equivalent widths) argue against SN 2016geu being a faint, broad-lined, cool or shallow-silicon SN Ia. We conclude that the spectroscopic properties of SN 2016geu imply that it is a normal SN Ia, and when taking previous results by other authors into consideration, there is very little, if any, evolution in the observational properties of SNe Ia up to z ap 0.4.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Pages (from-to)4257-4267
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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