On the progenitor of SN 2005gl and the nature of Type IIn supernovae

Avishay Gal-Yam, D. C. Leonard, D. B. Fox, S. B. Cenko, A. M. Soderberg, D. S. Moon, D. J. Sand, Weidong Li, Alexei V. Filippenko, G. Aldering, Y. Copin

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Abstract

We present a study of the Type IIn supernova (SN) 2005gl, in the relatively nearby (d ≈ 66 Mpc) galaxy NGC 266. Photometry and spectroscopy of the SN indicate that it is a typical member of its class. Pre-explosion Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging of the location of the SN, along with a precise localization of this event using the laser guide star assisted adaptive optics (LGS-AO) system at Keck Observatory, are combined to identify a luminous (M V = -10.3 mag) point source as the possible progenitor of SN 2005gl. If the source is indeed a single star, it was likely a member of the class of luminous blue variable stars (LBVs). This finding leads us to consider the possible general association of SNe IIn with LBV progenitors; it is indeed supported by observations of other SNe, and the known properties of LBV stars. For example, we argue that should the prototypical Galactic LBV η Carina explode in a phase similar to its current state, it will likely produce a SN IIn. We discuss our findings in the context of current ideas about the evolution of massive stars and review the census of SNe with identified progenitors. The concept of the progenitor-SN map is introduced as a convenient means to discuss the present status and future prospects of direct searches for SN progenitors. We conclude that this field has matured considerably in recent years, and the transition from anecdotal information about rare single events to robust associations of progenitor classes with specific SN types has already begun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-381
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume656
Issue number1 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2007

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future prospect
point source
supernovae
explosion
census
observatory
laser
spectroscopy
blue stars
stars
laser guide stars
variable stars
massive stars
adaptive optics
Hubble Space Telescope
point sources
photometry
explosions
observatories
galaxies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Gal-Yam, A., Leonard, D. C., Fox, D. B., Cenko, S. B., Soderberg, A. M., Moon, D. S., ... Copin, Y. (2007). On the progenitor of SN 2005gl and the nature of Type IIn supernovae. Astrophysical Journal, 656(1 I), 372-381. https://doi.org/10.1086/510523
Gal-Yam, Avishay ; Leonard, D. C. ; Fox, D. B. ; Cenko, S. B. ; Soderberg, A. M. ; Moon, D. S. ; Sand, D. J. ; Li, Weidong ; Filippenko, Alexei V. ; Aldering, G. ; Copin, Y. / On the progenitor of SN 2005gl and the nature of Type IIn supernovae. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2007 ; Vol. 656, No. 1 I. pp. 372-381.
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Gal-Yam, A, Leonard, DC, Fox, DB, Cenko, SB, Soderberg, AM, Moon, DS, Sand, DJ, Li, W, Filippenko, AV, Aldering, G & Copin, Y 2007, 'On the progenitor of SN 2005gl and the nature of Type IIn supernovae', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 656, no. 1 I, pp. 372-381. https://doi.org/10.1086/510523

On the progenitor of SN 2005gl and the nature of Type IIn supernovae. / Gal-Yam, Avishay; Leonard, D. C.; Fox, D. B.; Cenko, S. B.; Soderberg, A. M.; Moon, D. S.; Sand, D. J.; Li, Weidong; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Aldering, G.; Copin, Y.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 656, No. 1 I, 10.02.2007, p. 372-381.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Gal-Yam, Avishay

AU - Leonard, D. C.

AU - Fox, D. B.

AU - Cenko, S. B.

AU - Soderberg, A. M.

AU - Moon, D. S.

AU - Sand, D. J.

AU - Li, Weidong

AU - Filippenko, Alexei V.

AU - Aldering, G.

AU - Copin, Y.

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N2 - We present a study of the Type IIn supernova (SN) 2005gl, in the relatively nearby (d ≈ 66 Mpc) galaxy NGC 266. Photometry and spectroscopy of the SN indicate that it is a typical member of its class. Pre-explosion Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging of the location of the SN, along with a precise localization of this event using the laser guide star assisted adaptive optics (LGS-AO) system at Keck Observatory, are combined to identify a luminous (M V = -10.3 mag) point source as the possible progenitor of SN 2005gl. If the source is indeed a single star, it was likely a member of the class of luminous blue variable stars (LBVs). This finding leads us to consider the possible general association of SNe IIn with LBV progenitors; it is indeed supported by observations of other SNe, and the known properties of LBV stars. For example, we argue that should the prototypical Galactic LBV η Carina explode in a phase similar to its current state, it will likely produce a SN IIn. We discuss our findings in the context of current ideas about the evolution of massive stars and review the census of SNe with identified progenitors. The concept of the progenitor-SN map is introduced as a convenient means to discuss the present status and future prospects of direct searches for SN progenitors. We conclude that this field has matured considerably in recent years, and the transition from anecdotal information about rare single events to robust associations of progenitor classes with specific SN types has already begun.

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Gal-Yam A, Leonard DC, Fox DB, Cenko SB, Soderberg AM, Moon DS et al. On the progenitor of SN 2005gl and the nature of Type IIn supernovae. Astrophysical Journal. 2007 Feb 10;656(1 I):372-381. https://doi.org/10.1086/510523