Explosive hide and seek with massive stars

The observational study of supernovae is undergoing a revolution brought about by an abundance of high quality data. The rich dataset offers insights into one of the biggest mysteries in the field; what are the ultimate fates of massive of stars? Interestingly, both theoretical and observational research suggests a lack of SNe associated with the most massive of stars. Is this real, or are they hiding in the data?

I will present my PhD thesis work investigating the apparent mystery of the missing massive stars, by focusing on stripped-envelope (SE) supernovae (SNe), which are thought to have high-mass origins. I will present two types of rare SE SN sub-types which could be the hiding spots: interacting Type Ibn and broad lightcurve SE SNe. Finally, I will present our systematic search that discovered an under-appreciated population of the latter, which are strongly associated to extremely high-mass SE SNe and potentially to high-mass stars.