Smith, Nathan and Li, Weidong and Miller, Adam A. and Silverman, Jeffrey M. and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Cuillandre, Jean-Charles and Cooper, Michael C. and Matheson, Thomas and Van Dyk, Schuyler D. (2011) A Massive Progenitor of the Luminous Type IIn Supernova 2010jl. Astrophysical Journal, 732 (2). Art. No. 63. ISSN 0004-637X http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20110524-152737285
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The bright, nearby, recently discovered supernova (SN) 2010jl is a luminous Type IIn SN. Here, we report archival Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of its host galaxy UGC 5189A taken roughly 10 yr prior to explosion, as well as early-time optical spectra of the SN. The HST images reveal a luminous, blue point source at the position of the SN, with an absolute magnitude of –12.0 in the F300W filter. If it is not just a chance alignment, the source at the SN position could be (1) a massive young (<6 Myr) star cluster in which the SN resided, (2) a quiescent, luminous blue star with an apparent temperature around 14,000 K, (3) a star caught during a bright outburst akin to those of luminous blue variables, or (4) a combination of option (1) and option (2) or (3). Although we cannot confidently choose between these possibilities with the present data, any of them imply that the progenitor of SN 2010jl had an initial mass above 30 M_☉. This reinforces mounting evidence that many SNe IIn result from very massive stars, that massive stars can produce visible SNe without collapsing quietly to black holes, and that massive stars can sometimes retain their H envelopes until shortly before explosion. Standard stellar evolution models fail to account for these observed properties.
|Additional Information:||© 2011 American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 November 17; accepted 2011 March 1; published 2011 April 15. The work presented here is based in part on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555; the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona; and MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and CEA/DAPNIA, at the CFHT which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Science de l’Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and NASA; the observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. We thank the staffs at these observatories for their efficient assistance, as well as R. J. Foley and S. B. Cenko for their help at Keck. Supernova research of A.V.F.’s group at U. C. Berkeley is supported by National Science Foundation grant AST-0908886, by the TABASGO Foundation, and by NASA through grants AR-11248 and AR-12126 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. J.M.S. is grateful to Marc J. Staley for a Graduate Fellowship. We thank J. R. Graham and S. Wright for obtaining Keck adaptive optics images of the site of SN 2010jl for us; unfortunately, these data did not yield a useful astrometric solution because only the SN was clearly detected. Facilities: HST (WFPC2),Keck:I (LRIS),Keck:II (DEIMOS), MMT (Blue Channel), CFHT (MagaCam)|
|Subject Keywords:||circumstellar matter; stars: evolution; stars: mass-loss; stars: winds, outflows; supernovae: general|
|Classification Code:||PACS: 97.60.Bw; 97.30.Eh; 97.10.Cv; 95.85.Mt; 95.85.Kr|
|Official Citation:||A Massive Progenitor of the Luminous Type IIn Supernova 2010jl Nathan Smith et al. 2011 ApJ 732 63|
|Usage Policy:||No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.|
|Deposited By:||Jason Perez|
|Deposited On:||25 May 2011 16:52|
|Last Modified:||26 Dec 2012 13:15|
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