Explaining two recent intermediate-luminosity optical transients (ILOTs) by a binary interaction and jets

Noam Soker, Amit Kashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We propose that two recent intermediate-luminosity optical transients (ILOTs), M31LRN 2015 and SN 2015bh (SNHunt 275; PTF 13efv) can be accounted for with a stellar binary model involving mass transfer that leads to the launching of jets. We inspect observations of the ILOT M31LRN 2015 and conclude that it cannot be explained by the onset of a common envelope evolution (CEE). Instead, we conjecture that an M ≃ 1-3M main-sequence star accreted ≃0.04M from the giant star, possibly during a periastron passage. The mainsequence star-accreted mass through an accretion disc, that launches jets. The radiation from the disc and the collision of the jets with the ambient gas can account for the luminosity of the event. Along similar lines, we suggest that the 2013 eruption of SN 2015bh (SNHunt 275) can also be explained by the high-accretion-powered ILOT (HAPI) model. In this case, a massive secondary star M2 ≳ 10M accreted ≈0.05M from a much more massive and more evolved star during a periastron passage. If the much more energetic 2015 outburst of SN 2015bh (SNHunt 275) was not a supernova explosion, it might have been a full almost head-on merger event, or else can be accounted for by the HAPI-jets model in a very highly eccentric orbit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-222
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: general
  • Stars: jets
  • Stars: variables: general


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