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2012 (English)In: The Astrophysical Journal Letters, ISSN 2041-8205, Vol. 759, no 1, L13- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Core-collapse supernovae (SNe) are the spectacular finale to massive stellar evolution. In this Letter, we identify a progenitor for the nearby core-collapse SN 2012aw in both ground-based near-infrared and space-based optical pre-explosion imaging. The SN itself appears to be a normal Type II Plateau event, reaching a bolometric luminosity of 10(42) erg s(-1) and photospheric velocities of similar to 11,000 km s(-1) from the position of the H beta P-Cygni minimum in the early SN spectra. We use an adaptive optics image to show that the SN is coincident to within 27 mas with a faint, red source in pre-explosion HST+WFPC2, VLT+ISAAC, and NTT+SOFI images. The source has magnitudes F555W = 26.70 +/- 0.06, F814W = 23.39 +/- 0.02, J = 21.1 +/- 0.2, K = 19.1 +/- 0.4, which, when compared to a grid of stellar models, best matches a red supergiant. Interestingly, the spectral energy distribution of the progenitor also implies an extinction of A(V) > 1.2 mag, whereas the SN itself does not appear to be significantly extinguished. We interpret this as evidence for the destruction of dust in the SN explosion. The progenitor candidate has a luminosity between 5.0 and 5.6 log L/L-circle dot, corresponding to a zero-age main-sequence mass between 14 and 26 M-circle dot (depending on A(V)), which would make this one of the most massive progenitors found for a core-collapse SN to date.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 759, no 1, L13- p.
Keyword [en]
galaxies: individual (M95), supergiants, supernovae: general, supernovae: individual (SN2012aw)
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83036DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L13ISI: 000310458900013OAI: diva2:574204


Available from: 2012-12-04 Created: 2012-12-03 Last updated: 2012-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Ergon, MattiasSollerman, JesperTaddia, Francesco
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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