The progenitor of the type IIb SN 2008ax revisited.
FOLATELLI G., BERSTEN M.C., KUNCARAYAKTI H., BENVENUTO O.G., MAEDA K. and NOMOTO K.
Abstract (from CDS):
Hubble Space Telescope observations of the site of the supernova (SN) SN 2008ax obtained in 2011 and 2013 reveal that the possible progenitor object detected in pre-explosion images was in fact multiple. Four point sources are resolved in the new, higher-resolution images. We identify one of the sources with the fading SN. The other three objects are consistent with single supergiant stars. We conclude that their light contaminated the previously identified progenitor candidate. After subtraction of these stars, the progenitor appears to be significantly fainter and bluer than previously measured. Post-explosion photometry at the SN location indicates that the progenitor object has disappeared. If single, the progenitor is compatible with a supergiant star of B to mid-A spectral type, while a Wolf-Rayet (W-R) star would be too luminous in the ultraviolet to account for the observations. Moreover, our hydrodynamical modeling shows that the pre-explosion mass was 4-5 M☉ and the radius was 30-50 R☉, which is incompatible with a W-R progenitor. We present a possible interacting binary progenitor computed with our evolutionary models that reproduces all the observational evidence. A companion star as luminous as an O9-B0 main-sequence star may have remained after the explosion.
supernovae: general - supernovae: individual: SN 2008ax