Detection of a Red Supergiant Progenitor Star of a Type II-Plateau Supernova

Stephen Smartt, J.R. Maund, M.A. Hendry, S. Mattila, C.A. Tout, G.F. Gilmore, C.R. Benn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


We present the discovery of a red supergiant star that exploded as supernova 2003gd in the nearby spiral galaxy M74. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Gemini Telescope imaged this galaxy 6 to 9 months before the supernova explosion, and subsequent HST images confirm the positional coincidence of the supernova with a single resolved star that is a red supergiant of 8+4-2 solar masses. This confirms both stellar evolution models and supernova theories predicting that cool red supergiants are the immediate progenitor stars of type II-plateau supernovae.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-503
Number of pages5
Issue number5657
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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