On the progenitors of two type II-P supernovae in the virgo cluster

Weidong Li, Xiaofeng Wang, Schuyler D. Van Dyk, Jean Charles Cuillandre, Ryan J. Foley, Alexei V. Filippenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Direct identification of the progenitors of supernovae (SNe) is rare because of the required spatial resolution and depth of the archival data prior to the SN explosions. Here we report on the identification of the progenitors of two nearby SNe in the Virgo Cluster: SN 2006my in NGC 4651 and SN 2006ov in M61. We obtained high-quality ground-based images of SN 2006my with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, and are able to locate the site of the SN on pre-SN Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 images to a high precision (1 σ uncertainty of ±0.05″). We pinpoint the site of SN 2006ov to within 0.02″ from HST Advanced Camera for Surveys images of the SN. We detected a red supergiant progenitor for each SN within the error circles, with an inferred zero-age main-sequence mass (Mzams) of 10-3+5 and 15-3+5 M for the progenitors of SNe 2006my and 2006ov, respectively. The mass estimates for the progenitors of both SNe confirm a suggested trend that the most common Type II-plateau SNe originate from low-mass supergiants with Mzams ≈ 8-20 M.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1024
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


  • Stars: evolution
  • Supernovae: general
  • Supernovae: individual (SN 2006my, SN 2006ov)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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