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The Progenitor of Supernova 2011dh/PTF11eon In Messier 51

Van Dyk, Schuyler D. and Li, Weidong and Cenko, S. Bradley and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Horesh, Assaf and Ofek, Eran O. and Kraus, Adam L. and Silverman, Jeffrey M. and Arcavi, Iair and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Gal-Yam, Avishay and Quimby, Robert M. and Kulkarni, Shrinivas R. and Yaron, Ofer and Polishook, David (2011) The Progenitor of Supernova 2011dh/PTF11eon In Messier 51. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 741 (2). Art. No. L28. ISSN 2041-8205.

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We have identified a luminous star at the position of supernova (SN) 2011dh/PTF11eon, in pre-SN archival, multi-band images of the nearby, nearly face-on galaxy Messier 51 (M51) obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope with the Advanced Camera for Surveys. This identification has been confirmed, to the highest available astrometric precision, using a Keck-II adaptive-optics image. The available early-time spectra and photometry indicate that the SN is a stripped-envelope, core-collapse Type IIb, with a more compact progenitor (radius ~ 10^(11) cm) than was the case for the well-studied SN IIb 1993J. We infer that the extinction to SN 2011dh and its progenitor arises from a low Galactic foreground contribution, and that the SN environment is of roughly solar metallicity. The detected object has absolute magnitude M^0_V ≈ –7.7 and effective temperature ~6000 K. The star's radius, ~10^(13) cm, is more extended than what has been inferred for the SN progenitor. We speculate that the detected star is either an unrelated star very near the position of the actual progenitor, or, more likely, the progenitor's companion in a mass-transfer binary system. The position of the detected star in a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is consistent with an initial mass of 17-19 M_☉. The light of this star could easily conceal, even in the ultraviolet, the presence of a stripped, compact, very hot (~10^5 K), nitrogen-rich Wolf-Rayet star progenitor.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Van Dyk, Schuyler D.0000-0001-9038-9950
Cenko, S. Bradley0000-0003-1673-970X
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Ofek, Eran O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Kraus, Adam L.0000-0001-9811-568X
Arcavi, Iair 0000-0001-7090-4898
Filippenko, Alexei V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Gal-Yam, Avishay0000-0002-3653-5598
Quimby, Robert M.0000-0001-9171-5236
Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Additional Information:© 2011 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 June 15; accepted 2011 October 5; published 2011 October 18. This work was based in part on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the Data Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc., under NASA contract NAS 05-26555; the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and NASA, with generous financial support from the W. M. Keck Foundation; and the Lick Observatory, operated by the University of California. KAIT and its ongoing research were made possible by donations from Sun Microsystems, Inc., the Hewlett-Packard Company, Auto-Scope Corporation, Lick Observatory, the NSF, the University of California, the Sylvia & Jim Katzman Foundation, and the TABASGO Foundation. We thank the staffs of the Lick and Keck Observatories for their assistance with the observations. We thank Peter Nugent for useful comments, and the referee for helpful suggestions which improved this manuscript. Support for this research was provided by NASA through grants GO-11575, AR-11248, and AR-12126 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. A.V.F. and his group at UC Berkeley also acknowledge generous support from Gary and Cynthia Bengier, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, NASA/Swift grant NNX10AI21G, NASA/Fermi grant NNX1OA057G, NSF grant AST–0908886, and the TABASGO Foundation. A.G. is supported by the ISF. E.O.O. is supported by an Einstein Fellowship and NASA grants. J.M.S. thanks Marc J. Staley for a graduate fellowship. Facilities: Keck:II, Keck:I, HST (ACS), Spitzer (IRAC), GALEX, KAIT
Group:IPTF, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Lick ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Sun Microsystems, Inc.UNSPECIFIED
Hewlett-Packard CompanyUNSPECIFIED
AutoScope CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Sylvia and Jim Katzman FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gary and Cynthia BengierUNSPECIFIED
Richard and Rhoda Goldman FundUNSPECIFIED
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: individual (NGC 5194); stars: evolution; supernovae: general; supernovae: individual (SN 2011dh)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111214-095212608
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Progenitor of Supernova 2011dh/PTF11eon in Messier 51 Schuyler D. Van Dyk et al. 2011 ApJ 741 L28
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:28463
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:14 Dec 2011 18:23
Last Modified:27 Oct 2017 03:49

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