We present observations of supernova (SN) 2017ens, discovered by the ATLAS survey and identified as a hot blue object through the GREAT program. The redshift z = 0.1086 implies a peak brightness of Mg = -21.1 mag, placing the object within the regime of superluminous supernovae. We observe a dramatic spectral evolution, from initially being blue and featureless, to later developing features similar to those of the broadlined Type Ic SN 1998bw, and finally showing ∼2000 km s-1 wide Hα and Hβ emission. Relatively narrow Balmer emission (reminiscent of a SN IIn) is present at all times. We also detect coronal lines, indicative of a dense circumstellar medium. We constrain the progenitor wind velocity to ∼ 50-60 km s-1 based on P-Cygni profiles, which is far slower than those present in Wolf-Rayet stars. This may suggest that the progenitor passed through a luminous blue variable phase, or that the wind is instead from a binary companion red supergiant star. At late times we see the ∼2000 km s-1 wide Hα emission persisting at high luminosity (∼3 x 1040 erg s-1) for at least 100 day, perhaps indicative of additional mass loss at high velocities that could have been ejected by a pulsational pair instability.
- Supernovae: general
- supernovae: individual (SN 2017ens)