We present photometric and spectroscopic data of the Type II-P supernova (SN II-P) 2003gd, which was discovered in M74 close to the end of its plateau phase. SN 2003gd is the first Type II supernova ( SN) to have a directly confirmed red supergiant ( RSG) progenitor. We compare SN 2003gd to SN 1999 em, a similar SN II-P, and estimate an explosion date of 2003 March 18. We determine a reddening towards the SN of E(B-V) = 0.14 +/- 0.06, using three different methods. We also calculate three new distances to M74 of 9.6 +/- 2.8, 7.7 +/- 1.7 and 9.6 +/- 2.2 Mpc. The former was estimated using the standard candle method (SCM), for Type II supernovae (SNe II), and the latter two using the brightest supergiants method (BSM). When combined with existing kinematic and BSM distance estimates, we derive a mean value of 9.3 +/- 1.8 Mpc. SN 2003gd was found to have a lower tail luminosity compared with other normal Type II-P supernovae ( SNe II-P) bringing into question the nature of this SN. We present a discussion concluding that this is a normal SN II-P, which is consistent with the observed progenitor mass of 8(-2)(+4) M-circle dot.
- Space and Planetary Science