Home > Astronomy, General Astronomy, Supernovae > The First Evidence That A Yellow Supergiant Became A Supernova

The First Evidence That A Yellow Supergiant Became A Supernova

A group of researchers led by Melina Bersten (Kavli IPMU) has presented evidence that the yellow supergiant (YSG) star found at the location of supernova SN 2011dh in the famous nearby galaxy M51 was indeed the SN progenitor, as well as produced a self-consistent model to explain how a star of such characteristics exploded. In their model, the exploding YSG star was a member of a close binary system. The authors further predict the detection of the companion star as a definitive test of their hypothesis. Their paper has been published in the September 20, 2012, issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

The nature and diversity of the progenitor star or progenitor system of core-collapse supernovae is an important and open question in the field of astrophysics. It is believed that most massive stars explode when the stars become red supergiants, or, alternatively, blue compact stars (so-called Wolf-Rayet stars). Recent detections of a yellow supergiant star as a possible supernova progenitor have posed serious questions on our understanding of the evolution of massive stars.

Full Story: http://www.ipmu.jp/node/1404

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