In a supermassive star, a nickel/iron core forms, and when its mass surpasses 1.4 M⊙, it will collapse. This produces an outward shock wave. Eventually the shock wave will reach the surface, which we define as shock breakout. This is when electromagnetic radiation produced by the collapse starts leaving the star. EM observations usually do not catch the first light from the shock breakout, and instead discover the supernova some time after that. The discovery depends when the galaxy is monitored. We are trying to estimate the moment of shock breakout given incomplete electromagnetic observations of light curves. Currently, we are testing the methodology, from a paper from A.P Nagy (arXiv:1409.6256) based on fitting theoretical curves with Kepler data on Supernova 2011a and 2011d.
This research was partially supported through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Faculty Innovative Research in Science and Technology (FIRST) Program.