Supernovae and radio transients in M82

S. Mattila, M. Fraser, S. J. Smartt, W. P. S. Meikle, C. Romero-Cañizales, R. M. Crockett, A. Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We present optical and near-infrared (NIR) photometry and NIR spectroscopy of SN 2004am, the only optically detected supernova (SN) in M82. These demonstrate that SN 2004am was a highly reddened Type II-P SN similar to the low-luminosity Type II-P events such as SNe 1997D and 2005cs. We show that SN 2004am was located coincident with the obscured super star cluster M82-L, and from the cluster age infer a progenitor mass of 12{^{+ 7}_{- 3}} M⊙. In addition to this, we present a high spatial resolution Gemini-North Telescope K-band adaptive optics image of the site of SN 2008iz and a second transient of uncertain nature, both detected so far only at radio wavelengths. Using image subtraction techniques together with archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope, we are able to recover a NIR transient source coincident with both objects. We find the likely extinction towards SN 2008iz to be not more than AV ˜ 10. The nature of the second transient remains elusive and we regard an extremely bright microquasar in M82 as the most plausible scenario.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2050-2062
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2013


  • supernovae: general
  • supernovae: individual: SN 2004am
  • supernovae: individual: SN 2008iz
  • galaxies: individual: M82
  • galaxies: starburst
  • infrared: galaxies


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