"Elucidating the SN-GRB Connection from the SN Perspective"

Maryam Modjaz (U. C. Berkeley)

Massive stars die violently. Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and Type Ib/c Supernovae (SN Ib/c) are two of nature's magnificent explosions that can be seen over cosmological distances, and both are products of collapsing massive stars. However, we still do not fully understand the exact conditions that produce each kind of stellar explosion. While GRBs emit relativistic jets, SN Ib/c are core-collapse explosions whose massive progenitors have been stripped of their hydrogen and helium envelopes.

I will present a number of observational venues that probe the progenitor environments, their metallicities and the explosion conditions of SN with and without GRBs. Specifically, I will discuss SN 2008D, which was discovered serendipitously in January 2008 with the NASA Swift satellite via its X-ray emission and has generated great interest by astronomers (12 papers and counting). I will discuss the significance of this SN, whether it harbored a jet, and its implications for the SN-GRB connection. I will conclude with the most promising venues of upcoming research that can clarify how massive stars die.