Since the first discovery of a broad-lined type Ic supernova (SN) with a long-duration gamma-ray burst (GRB) in 1998, fewer than fifty gamma-ray burst supernovae (GRB-SNe) have been discovered. The intermediate-luminosity Swift GRB 161219B and its associated supernova SN 2016jca, which occurred at a redshift of z = 0.1475, represents only the seventh GRB-SN to have been discovered within 1 Gpc, and hence provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the observational and physical properties of these very elusive and rare type of SN. As such, we present optical to near-infrared photometry and optical spectroscopy of GRB 161219B and SN 2016jca, spanning the first three months since its discovery. GRB 161219B exploded in the disk of an edge-on spiral galaxy at a projected distance of 3.4 kpc from the galactic centre. GRB 161219B itself is an outlier in the Ep,i −Eγ,iso plane, while SN 2016jca had a rest-frame, peak absolute V-band magnitude of MV = −19.0, which it reached after 12.5 rest-frame days. We find that the bolometric properties of SN 2016jca are inconsistent with being powered solely by a magnetar central engine, as proposed by other authors, and demonstrate that it was likely powered exclusively by energy deposited by the radioactive decay of nickel and cobalt into their daughter products, which were nucleosynthesized when its progenitor underwent core collapse. We find that 0.22 M⊙ of nickel is required to reproduce the peak luminosity of SN 2016jca, and we constrain an ejecta mass of 5.8 M⊙ and a kinetic energy of ≈5 × 1052 erg. Finally, we report on a chromatic, pre-maximum bump in the g-band light curve, and discuss its possible origin. [Abridged].
- Gamma-ray burst: individual: GRB 161219B / s
- Supernovae: individual: SN 2016jca
- Gamma-ray burst: general
- Supernovae: general