The environments of supernovae in post-refurbishment Hubble Space Telescope images.
VAN DYK S.D., PENG C.Y., BARTH A.J. and FILIPPENKO A.V.
Abstract (from CDS):
The locations of supernovae (SNe) in the local stellar and gaseous environment in galaxies contain important clues to their progenitor stars. Access to this information, however, has been hampered by the limited resolution achieved by ground-based observations. High spatial resolution Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of galaxy fields in which supernovae had been observed can improve the situation considerably. We have examined the immediate environments of a few dozen supernovae using archival post-refurbishment HST images. Although our analysis is limited because of signal-to-noise ratio and filter bandpass considerations, the images allow us for the first time to resolve individual stars in, and to derive detailed color-magnitude diagrams for, several environments. We are able to place more rigorous constraints on the masses of these supernovae. A search was made for late-time emission from supernovae in the archival images and for the progenitor stars in presupernova images of the host galaxies. We have detected SN 1986J in NGC 891 and, possibly, SN 1981K in NGC 4258. We have also identified the progenitor of the Type IIn SN 1997bs in NGC 3627. By removing younger resolved stars in the environments of SNe Ia, we can measure the colors of the unresolved stellar background and attribute these colors generally to an older, redder population. HST images ``accidentally'' caught the Type Ia SN 1994D in NGC 4526 shortly after its outburst; we measure its brightness. Finally, we add to the statistical inferences that can be made from studying the association of SNe with recent star-forming regions.
Stars: Color-Magnitude Diagrams - Galaxies: General - Galaxies: Star Clusters - Galaxies: Stellar Content - Stars: Supernovae: General