Observing Supernova Neutrino Light Curves with Super-Kamiokande: Expected Event Number over 10 s

Yudai Suwa, Kohsuke Sumiyoshi, Ken'Ichiro Nakazato, Yasufumi Takahira, Yusuke Koshio, Masamitsu Mori, Roger A. Wendell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Supernova neutrinos are crucially important to probe the final phases of massive star evolution. As is well known from observations of SN 1987A, neutrinos provide information on the physical conditions responsible for neutron star formation and on the supernova explosion mechanism. However, there is still no complete understanding of the long-term evolution of neutrino emission in supernova explosions, although there are a number of modern simulations of neutrino radiation hydrodynamics, which study neutrino emission at times less than one second after the bounce. In the present work we systematically calculate the number of neutrinos that can be observed in Super-Kamiokande over periods longer than 10 seconds using the database of Nakazato et al. anticipating that neutrinos from a Galactic supernova can be detected for several tens of seconds. We find that for a supernova at a distance of 10 kpc, neutrinos remain observable for longer than 30 s for a low-mass neutron star (1.20 Mo gravitational mass) and even longer than 100 s for a high-mass neutron star (2.05 Mo). These scenarios are much longer than the observations of SN 1987A and longer than the duration of existing numerical simulations. We propose a new analysis method based on the cumulative neutrino event distribution as a function of reverse time from the last observed event, as a useful probe of the neutron star mass. Our result demonstrates the importance of complete modeling of neutrino light curves in order to extract physical quantities essential for understanding supernova explosion mechanisms, such as the mass and radius of the resulting neutron star.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 20 2019


  • methods: numerical
  • neutrinos
  • stars: neutron
  • supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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