A source coincident with the position of the type IIb supernova (SN) 2008ax is identified in pre-explosion Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 observations in three optical filters. We identify and constrain two possible progenitor systems: (i) a single massive star that lost most of its hydrogen envelope through radiatively driven mass-loss processes, prior to exploding as a helium-rich Wolf-Rayet star with a residual hydrogen envelope, and (ii) an interacting binary in a low-mass cluster producing a stripped progenitor. Late time, high-resolution observations along with detailed modelling of the SN will be required to reveal the true nature of this progenitor star.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1 2008|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science