Journal Article

Limits on the X-ray and optical luminosity of the progenitor of the Type Ia supernova 2007sr

Gijs Nelemans, Rasmus Voss, Gijs Roelofs and Cees Bassa

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 388, issue 2, pages 487-494
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Limits on the X-ray and optical luminosity of the progenitor of the Type Ia supernova 2007sr

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We present Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and Chandra observations of the position of the Type Ia supernova 2007sr in the Antennae galaxy, taken before the explosion. No source is found in any of the observations, allowing us to put interesting constraints on the progenitor luminosity. In total there is about 450 ks of Chandra data, spread over seven different observations. Limiting magnitudes of far-ultraviolet (FUV) (23.7 AB mag), near-ultraviolet (NUV) (23.8 AB mag), F555W (26.5 Vega mag) and F814W (24.5–25 Vega mag) are derived. The distance to the Antennae galaxy is surprisingly poorly known, with almost a factor of 2 difference between the latest distance based on the tip of the red giant branch (13.3 Mpc) and the distance derived from the 2007sr light curve (25 Mpc). Using these distances we derive limits on absolute optical and UV magnitudes of any progenitor but these are still above the brightest (symbiotic) proposed progenitors. From the Chandra data a 3σ upper limit to the X-ray luminosity of 0.5–8.0 × 1037erg s−1 in the 0.3–1 keV range is found. This is below the X-ray luminosity of the potential progenitor of the Type Ia supernova 2007on that we recently discovered and for which we report a corrected X-ray luminosity. If that progenitor is confirmed it suggests the two supernovae have different progenitors. The X-ray limit is comparable to the brightest supersoft X-ray sources in the Galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) and significantly below the luminosities of the brightest supersoft and quasi-soft X-ray sources found in nearby galaxies, ruling out such sources as progenitors of this Type Ia supernova.

Keywords: binaries: close; supernovae: general; white dwarfs; X-rays: binaries

Journal Article.  5155 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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