The type IIb SN 2008ax: The nature of the progenitor

R. M. Crockett, J. J. Eldridge, S. J. Smartt, A. Pastorell, A. Gal-Yam, D. B. Fox, D. C. Leonard, M. M. Kasliwal, S. Mattila, J. R. Maund, A. W. Stephens, I. J. Danziger

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101 Scopus citations


A source coincident with the position of the type IIb supernova (SN) 2008ax is identified in pre-explosion Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 observations in three optical filters. We identify and constrain two possible progenitor systems: (i) a single massive star that lost most of its hydrogen envelope through radiatively driven mass-loss processes, prior to exploding as a helium-rich Wolf-Rayet star with a residual hydrogen envelope, and (ii) an interacting binary in a low-mass cluster producing a stripped progenitor. Late time, high-resolution observations along with detailed modelling of the SN will be required to reveal the true nature of this progenitor star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L5-L9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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