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NGC 2770: High supernova rate due to interaction

Michałowski, Michał J. and Thöne, Christina and de Ugarte Postigo, Antonio and Hjorth, Jens and Leśniewska, Aleksandra and Gotkiewicz, Natalia and Dimitrov, Wojciech and Koprowski, Maciej P. and Kamphuis, Peter (2020) NGC 2770: High supernova rate due to interaction. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 642 . Art. No. A84. ISSN 0004-6361.

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Context. Galaxies that hosted many core-collapse supernova (SN) explosions can be used to study the conditions necessary for the formation of massive stars. NGC 2770 was dubbed an SN factory because it hosted four core-collapse SNe in 20 years (three type Ib and one type IIn). Its star formation rate (SFR) was reported to not be enhanced and, therefore, not compatible with such a high SN rate. Aims. We aim to explain the high SN rate of NGC 2770. Methods. We used archival H I line data for NGC 2770 and reinterpreted the Hα and optical continuum data. Results. Even though the continuum-based SFR indicators do not yield high values, the dust-corrected Hα luminosity implies a high SFR, consistent with the high SN rate. Such a disparity between the SFR estimators is an indication of recently enhanced star formation activity because the continuum indicators trace long timescales of the order of 100 Myr, unlike the line indicators, which trace timescales of the order of 10 Myr. Hence, the unique feature of NGC 2770 compared to other galaxies is the fact that it was observed very shortly after the enhancement of the SFR. It also has high dust extinction, E(B − V) above 1 mag. We provide support for the hypothesis that the increased SFR in NGC 2770 is due to the interaction with its companion galaxies. We report an H I bridge between NGC 2770 and its closest companion and the existence of a total of four companions within 100 kpc (one identified for the first time). There are no clear H I concentrations close to the positions of SNe in NGC 2770 such as those detected for hosts of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and broad-lined SNe type Ic (IcBL). This suggests that the progenitors of type Ib SNe are not born out of recently accreted atomic gas, as was suggested for GRB and IcBL SN progenitors.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Michałowski, Michał J.0000-0001-9033-4140
de Ugarte Postigo, Antonio0000-0001-7717-5085
Hjorth, Jens0000-0002-4571-2306
Leśniewska, Aleksandra0000-0001-8723-3533
Koprowski, Maciej P.0000-0001-5785-1154
Kamphuis, Peter0000-0002-5425-6074
Additional Information:© ESO 2020. Received 22 June 2020 / Accepted 30 July 2020. We wish to thank the referee, Artur Hakobyan, for helpful suggestions and for pointing out the existence of NGC 2770C and E, and Joanna Baradziej for discussion and comments. M.J.M. acknowledges the support of the National Science Centre, Poland through the SONATA BIS grant 2018/30/E/ST9/00208, and of the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission. A.d.U.P. and C.C.T. acknowledge the support from Ramón y Cajal fellowships (RyC-2012-09975 and RyC-2012-09984) and from the Spanish research project AYA2017-89384-P. A.L. acknowledges the support of the National Science Centre, Poland through the SONATA BIS grant 2018/30/E/ST9/00208. J.H. was supported by a VILLUM FONDEN Investigator grant (project number 16599). M.P.K. acknowledges support from the First TEAM grant of the Foundation for Polish Science No. POIR.04.04.00-00-5D21/18-00. P.K. is partially supported by the BMBF project 05A17PC2 for D-MeerKAT. The WSRT is operated by the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy with financial support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web Site is The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington. We acknowledge the usage of the HyperLeda database ( This research has made use of the Open Supernova Catalog (; NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; SAOImage DS9, developed by Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (Joye et al. 2003); Edward Wright cosmology calculator (Wright 2006); the WebPlotDigitizer of Ankit Rohatgi ( and NASA’s Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Science Centre (Poland)2018/30/E/ST9/00208
Polish-U.S. Fulbright CommissionUNSPECIFIED
Ramón y Cajal ProgrammeRyC-2012-09975
Ramón y Cajal ProgrammeRyC-2012-09984
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)AYA2017-89384-P
Foundation for Polish SciencePOIR.04.04.00-00-5D21/18-00
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)05A17PC2
Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor de Astronomie (NOVA)UNSPECIFIED
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution / galaxies: individual: NGC 2770 / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: star formation / supernovae: general / radio lines: galaxies
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201008-083809327
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:NGC 2770: High supernova rate due to interaction Michał J. Michałowski, Christina Thöne, Antonio de Ugarte Postigo, Jens Hjorth, Aleksandra Leśniewska, Natalia Gotkiewicz, Wojciech Dimitrov, Maciej P. Koprowski and Peter Kamphuis A&A, 642 (2020) A84 DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105915
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:08 Oct 2020 17:59
Last Modified:08 Oct 2020 17:59

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