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Paper: Seeking Core-Collapse Supernova Progenitors in Pre-Explosion Images
Volume: 425, Hot and Cool: Bridging Gaps in Massive Star Evolution
Page: 79
Authors: Leonard, D. C.
Abstract: I summarize what we have learned about the nature of stars that ultimately explode as core-collapse supernovae from the examination of images taken prior to the explosion. By registering pre-supernova and post-supernova images, usually taken at high resolution using either space-based optical detectors, or ground-based infrared detectors equipped with laser guide star adaptive optics systems, nearly three dozen core-collapse supernovae have now had the properties of their progenitor stars either directly measured or (more commonly) constrained by establishing upper limits on their luminosities. These studies enable direct comparison with stellar evolution models that, in turn, permit estimates of the progenitor stars’ physical characteristics to be made. I review progenitor characteristics (or constraints) inferred from this work for each of the major core-collapse supernova types (II-Plateau, II-Linear, IIb, IIn, Ib/c), with a particular focus on the analytical techniques used and the processes through which conclusions have been drawn. Brief discussion of a few individual events is also provided, including SN 2005gl, a type IIn supernova that is shown to have had an extremely luminous—and thus very massive—progenitor that exploded shortly after a violent, luminous blue variable-like eruption phase, contrary to standard theoretical predictions.
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