Artist's impression of progenitor star to a type Ic supernova

This is an artist's impression of a blue supergiant star that once existed inside a cluster of young stars in the spiral galaxy NGC 3938, located 65 million light-years away. It exploded as a supernova in 2017, and NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope archival photos were used to locate the doomed progenitor star, as it looked in 2007.

The star may have been 50 as massive as our Sun and burned at a furious rate, making it hotter and bluer than our Sun. It was so hot, it had lost its outer layers of hydrogen and helium. When it exploded in 2017, astronomers categorised it as a Type Ic supernova because of the lack of hydrogen and helium in the supernova's spectrum.

In an alternative scenario (not shown here) a binary companion to the massive star may have stripped off its hydrogen and helium layers.

Links:

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and J. Olmsted (STScI)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo1847a
Type:Artwork
Release date:16 November 2018, 13:53
Size:5400 x 3600 px

About the Object

Name:SN 2017ein
Type:Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Supernova
Distance:65 million light years
Category:Stars

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