The type IIb supernova 2013df and its cool supergiant progenitor

Schuyler D. Van Dyk, Weikang Zheng, Ori D. Fox, S. Bradley Cenko, Kelsey I. Clubb, Alexei V. Filippenko, Ryan J. Foley, Adam A. Miller, Nathan Smith, Patrick L. Kelly, William H. Lee, Sagi Ben-Ami, Avishay Gal-Yam

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We have obtained early-time photometry and spectroscopy of supernova (SN) 2013df in NGC 4414. The SN is clearly of Type IIb, with notable similarities to SN 1993J. From its luminosity at secondary maximum light, it appears that less 56Ni (≲ 0.06 M ·) was synthesized in the SN 2013df explosion than was the case for the SNe IIb 1993J, 2008ax, and 2011dh. Based on a comparison of the light curves, the SN 2013df progenitor must have been more extended in radius prior to explosion than the progenitor of SN 1993J. The total extinction for SN 2013df is estimated to be AV = 0.30 mag. The metallicity at the SN location is likely to be solar. We have conducted Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Target of Opportunity observations of the SN with the Wide Field Camera 3, and from a precise comparison of these new observations to archival HST observations of the host galaxy obtained 14 yr prior to explosion, we have identified the progenitor of SN 2013df to be a yellow supergiant, somewhat hotter than a red supergiant progenitor for a normal Type II-Plateau SN. From its observed spectral energy distribution, assuming that the light is dominated by one star, the progenitor had effective temperature T eff = 4250 ± 100 K and a bolometric luminosity L bol = 104.94 ± 0.06 L ·. This leads to an effective radius R eff = 545 ± 65 R . The star likely had an initial mass in the range of 13-17 M ·; however, if it was a member of an interacting binary system, detailed modeling of the system is required to estimate this mass more accurately. The progenitor star of SN 2013df appears to have been relatively similar to the progenitor of SN 1993J.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • galaxies: individual (NGC 4414)
  • stars: evolution
  • supernovae: general - supernovae: individual (SN 2013df)


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