The lowest-metallicity type II supernova from the highest-mass red supergiant progenitor

J. P. Anderson, L. Dessart, C. P. Gutiérrez, T. Krühler, L. Galbany, A. Jerkstrand, S. J. Smartt, C. Contreras, N. Morrell, M. M. Phillips, M. D. Stritzinger, E. Y. Hsiao, S. González-Gaitán, C. Agliozzo, S. Castellón, K. C. Chambers, T.-W. Chen, H. Flewelling, C. Gonzalez, G. HosseinzadehM. Huber, M. Fraser, C. Inserra, E. Kankare, S. Mattila, E. Magnier, K. Maguire, T. B. Lowe, J. Sollerman, M. Sullivan, D. R. Young, S. Valenti

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Abstract

Red supergiants have been confirmed as the progenitor stars of the majority of hydrogen-rich type II supernovae1. However, while such stars are observed with masses >25 M⊙ (ref. 2), detections of >18 M⊙progenitors remain elusive1. Red supergiants are also expected to form at all metallicities, but discoveries of explosions from low-metallicity progenitors are scarce. Here, we report observations of the type II supernova, SN 2015bs, for which we infer a progenitor metallicity of ≤0.1 Z⊙ from comparison to photospheric-phase spectral models3, and a zero-age main-sequence mass of 17–25 M⊙ through comparison to nebular-phase spectral models4,5. SN 2015bs displays a normal ‘plateau’ light-curve morphology, and typical spectral properties, implying a red supergiant progenitor. This is the first example of such a high-mass progenitor for a ‘normal’ type II supernova, suggesting a link between high-mass red supergiant explosions and low-metallicity progenitors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-579
JournalNature Astronomy
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 May 2018

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