Visibility stacking in the quest for type Ia supernova radio emission
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We describe the process of stacking radio interferometry visibilities to form a deep composite image and its application to the observation of transient phenomena. We apply "visibility stacking" to 46 archival Very Large Array observations of nearby type Ia supernovae (SNeIa). This new approach provides an upper limit on the SNIa ensemble peak radio luminosity of 1.2 × 1025 erg s–1 Hz–1 at 5 GHz, which is 5-10 times lower than previously measured. This luminosity implies an upper limit on the average companion stellar wind mass-loss rate of 1.3 × 10–7 M ☉ yr–1. This mass-loss rate is consistent with the double degenerate scenario for SNeIa and rules out intermediate- and high-mass companions in the single degenerate scenario. In the era of time domain astronomy, techniques such as visibility stacking will be important in extracting the maximum amount of information from observations of populations of short-lived events.
An erratum for this article has been published in 2011 ApJ 740 L56
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