Pre-supernova Alert System for Super-Kamiokande

The Super-Kamiokande Collaboration, L. N. Machado*, K. Abe, Y. Hayato, K. Hiraide, K. Ieki, M. Ikeda, J. Kameda, Y. Kanemura, R. Kaneshima, Y. Kashiwagi, Y. Kataoka, S. Miki, S. Mine, M. Miura, S. Moriyama, Y. Nakano, M. Nakahata, S. Nakayama, Y. NoguchiK. Okamoto, K. Sato, H. Sekiya, H. Shiba, K. Shimizu, M. Shiozawa, Y. Sonoda, Y. Suzuki, A. Takeda, Y. Takemoto, A. Takenaka, H. Tanaka, S. Watanabe, T. Yano, P. De Perio, K. Martens, M. R. Vagins, J. Bian, N. J. Griskevich, W. R. Kropp, S. Locke, M. B. Smy, H. W. Sobel, T. Boschi, F. Di Lodovico, J. Gao, A. Goldsack, T. Katori, J. Migenda, M. Taani, S. Zsoldos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In 2020, the Super-Kamiokande (SK) experiment moved to a new stage (SK-Gd) in which gadolinium (Gd) sulfate octahydrate was added to the water in the detector, enhancing the efficiency to detect thermal neutrons and consequently improving the sensitivity to low energy electron anti-neutrinos from inverse beta decay (IBD) interactions. SK-Gd has the potential to provide early alerts of incipient core-collapse supernovae through detection of electron anti-neutrinos from thermal and nuclear processes responsible for the cooling of massive stars before the gravitational collapse of their cores. These pre-supernova neutrinos emitted during the silicon burning phase can exceed the energy threshold for IBD reactions. We present the sensitivity of SK-Gd to pre-supernova stars and the techniques used for the development of a pre-supernova alarm based on the detection of these neutrinos in SK, as well as prospects for future SK-Gd phases with higher concentrations of Gd. For the current SK-Gd phase, high-confidence alerts for Betelgeuse could be issued up to 9 hr in advance of the core collapse itself.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2022


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