We present the discovery, classification, and radio-to-X-ray follow-up observations of iPTF17cw, a broad-lined (BL) type Ic supernova (SN) discovered by the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF). Although it is unrelated to the gravitational wave trigger, this SN was discovered as a happy by-product of the extensive observational campaign dedicated to the follow-up of Advanced LIGO event GW 170104. The spectroscopic properties and inferred peak bolometric luminosity of iPTF17cw are most similar to the gamma-ray-burst (GRB)- associated SN, SN 1998bw, while the shape of the r-band light curve is most similar to that of the relativistic SN, SN 2009bb. Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) observations of the iPTF17cw field reveal a radio counterpart approximately 10 times less luminous than SN 1998bw, and with a peak radio luminosity comparable to that of SN 2006aj/GRB 060218 and SN 2010bh/GRB 100316D. Our radio observations of iPTF17cw imply a relativistically expanding outflow. However, further late-time observations with the VLA in its most extended configuration are needed to confirm fading of the iPTF17cw radio counterpart at all frequencies. X-ray observations carried out with Chandra reveal the presence of an X-ray counterpart with a luminosity similar to that of SN 2010bh/GRB 100316D. Searching the Fermi catalog for possible gamma-rays reveals that GRB 161228B is spatially and temporally compatible with iPTF17cw. The similarity to SN 1998bw and SN 2009bb, the radio and X-ray detections, and the potential association with GRB 161228B all point to iPTF17cw being a new candidate member of the rare sample of optically discovered engine-driven BL-Ic SNe associated with relativistic ejecta.
The Astrophysical Journal (ISSN 2041-8205) (e-ISSN 2041-8213); 847; 1; 54