A Caltech Library Service

An Upper Mass Limit on a Red Supergiant Progenitor for the Type II-Plateau Supernova SN 2006my

Leonard, Douglas C. and Gal-Yam, Avishay and Fox, Derek B. and Cameron, P. B. and Johansson, Erik M. and Kraus, Adam L. and Le Mignant, David and van Dam, Marcos A. (2008) An Upper Mass Limit on a Red Supergiant Progenitor for the Type II-Plateau Supernova SN 2006my. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 120 (874). pp. 1259-1266. ISSN 0004-6280.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We analyze two pre-supernova (SN) and three post-SN high-resolution images of the site of the Type II-Plateau supernova SN 2006my in an effort to either detect the progenitor star or to constrain its properties. Following image registration, we find that an isolated stellar object is not detected at the location of SN 2006my in either of the two pre-SN images. In the first, an I-band image obtained with the Wide-Field and Planetary Camera 2 on board the Hubble Space Telescope, the offset between the SN 2006my location and a detected source (“Source 1”) is too large: ≥0.08', which corresponds to a confidence level of non-association of 96% from our most liberal estimates of the transformation and measurement uncertainties. In the second, a similarly obtained V-band image, a source is detected (“Source 2”) that has overlap with the SN 2006my location but is definitively an extended object. Through artificial star tests carried out on the precise location of SN 2006my in the images, we derive a 3 σ upper bound on the luminosity of a red supergiant that could have remained undetected in our pre-SN images of log L/L☉ = 5.10, which translates to an upper bound on such a star's initial mass of 15 M☉ from the STARS stellar evolutionary models. Although considered unlikely, we can not rule out the possibility that part of the light comprising Source 1, which exhibits a slight extension relative to other point sources in the image, or part of the light contributing to the extended Source 2, may be due to the progenitor of SN 2006my. Only additional, high-resolution observations of the site taken after SN 2006my has faded beyond detection can confirm or reject these possibilities.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Gal-Yam, Avishay0000-0002-3653-5598
Fox, Derek B.0000-0002-3714-672X
Kraus, Adam L.0000-0001-9811-568X
Additional Information:© 2008. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2008 September 12; accepted 2008 October 20; published 2008 November 20. We thank an anonymous referee for helpful comments that improved the manuscript. A.G. acknowledges support by the Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics, a research grant from Peter and Patricia Gruber Awards, and the William Z. and Eda Bess Novick New Scientists Fund at the Weizmann Institute. A.L.K. is supported by a NASA Origins grant to L. Hillenbrand. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. We wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. 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 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. Additional data were obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Benoziyo Center for AstrophysicsUNSPECIFIED
Peter and Patricia Gruber FoundationUNSPECIFIED
William Z. and Eda Bess Novick New Scientists Fund, Weizmann InstituteUNSPECIFIED
NASANAS 5-26555
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:874
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:LEOpasp08
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13042
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:17 Jan 2009 01:14
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:34

Repository Staff Only: item control page