Journal Article

Constraints on core-collapse supernova progenitors from correlations with Hα emission*

J. P. Anderson and P. A. James

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 390, issue 4, pages 1527-1538
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Constraints on core-collapse supernova progenitors from correlations with Hα emission*

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We present observational constraints on the nature of the different core-collapse supernova (SN) types through an investigation of the association of their explosion sites with recent star formation (SF), as traced by Hα+[N ii] line emission. We discuss results on the analysed data of the positions of 168 core-collapse SNe with respect to the Hα emission within their host galaxies.

From our analysis we find that overall the type II progenitor population does not trace the underlying SF. Our results are consistent with a significant fraction of SNII arising from progenitor stars of less than 10 M. We find that the SNe of type Ib show a higher degree of association with H ii regions than those of type II (without accurately tracing the emission), while the type Ic population accurately traces the Hα emission. This implies that the main core-collapse SN types form a sequence of increasing progenitor mass, from the type II, to Ib and finally Ic. We find that the type IIn subclass display a similar degree of association with the line emission to the overall SNII population, implying that at least the majority of these SNe do not arise from the most massive stars. We also find that the small number of SN ‘impostors’ within our sample do not trace the SF of their host galaxies, a result that would not be expected if these events arise from massive luminous blue variable star progenitors.

Keywords: supernovae: general; galaxies: general; galaxies: statistics

Journal Article.  8376 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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