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Accuracy of environmental tracers and consequences for determining the Type Ia supernova magnitude step

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • M. Briday
  • M. Rigault
  • R. Graziani
  • Y. Copin
  • G. Aldering
  • M. Amenouche
  • V. Brinnel
  • A. G. Kim
  • Young-Lo Kim
  • J. Lezmy
  • N. Nicolas
  • J. Nordin
  • S. Perlmutter
  • P. Rosnet
  • M. Smith
Article numberA22
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Astronomy and Astrophysics
Number of pages15
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/12/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Type Ia Supernovae (SNe Ia) are standardizable candles that allow us to measure the recent expansion rate of the Universe. Due to uncertainties in progenitor physics, potential astrophysical dependencies may bias cosmological measurements if not properly accounted for. The dependency of the intrinsic luminosity of SNe Ia with their host-galaxy environment is often used to standardize SNe Ia luminosity and is commonly parameterized as a step function. This functional form implicitly assumes two-populations of SNe Ia. In the literature, multiple environmental indicators have been considered, finding different, sometimes incompatible, step function amplitudes. We compare these indicators in the context of a two-populations model, based on their ability to distinguish the two populations. We show that local Hα-based specific star formation rate (lsSFR) and global stellar mass are better tracers than, for instance, host galaxy morphology. We show that tracer accuracy can explain the discrepancy between the observed SNe Ia step amplitudes found in the literature. Using lsSFR or global mass to identify the two populations can explain all other observations, though lsSFR is favoured. As lsSFR is strongly connected to age, our results favour a prompt and delayed population model. In any case, there exists two populations that differ in standardized magnitude by at least 0.121 ± 0.010 mag.