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Progenitor constraints on the Type Ia supernova SN 2014J from Hubble Space Telescope H beta and [O III] observations
Graur, Or; Woods, Tyrone E.
AA(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, New York, NY 10024-5192, USA; 0000-0002-4391-6137), AB(Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy and School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Volume 484, Issue 1, p.L79-L84 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
methods: observational, binaries: close, supernovae: general, supernovae: individual: SN2014J, (stars:) white dwarfs
Abstract Copyright:
2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Bibliographic Code:


Type Ia supernovae are understood to arise from the thermonuclear explosion of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, yet the evolutionary mechanisms leading to such events remain unknown. Many proposed channels, including the classical single-degenerate scenario, invoke a hot, luminous evolutionary phase for the progenitor, in which it is a prodigious source of photoionizing emission. Here, we examine the environment of SN 2014J for evidence of a photoionized nebula in pre- and post-explosion [O III] lambda5007 Å and H beta images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. From the absence of any extended emission, we exclude a stable nuclear-burning white dwarf at the location of SN 2014J in the last ˜100 000 years, assuming a typical warm interstellar medium (ISM) particle density of 1 cm-3. These limits greatly exceed existing X-ray constraints at temperatures typical of known supersoft sources. Significant extreme-UV/soft X-ray emission prior to explosion remains plausible for lower ISM densities (e.g. n_ISM˜ 0.1 {cm}^{-3}). In this case, however, any putative nebula would be even more extended, allowing deeper follow-up observations to resolve this ambiguity in the near future.
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