Do Massive Stars in star Clusters Produce Type II Supernovae at Normal Rates?


Due to their extraordinary brightness, supernovae are always a strong appeal to astronomers. Yet since supernovae only last for a rather short time, astronomers often seek for their remnants, called "supernova remnants (SNR)". Below is a picture showing what a typical supernova remnant looks like - - it seems to be a bubble in the universe.

supernova remnant
Multiwavelength composite image of the remnant of Kepler's supernova, SN 1604.

Our study mainly concentrates on type II supernovae, aiming to find out the possible correlation with young star clusters or OB associations of stars. The assumption that type II supernovae are related to star clusters arises from the fact that star clusters are the product of star formation. Because of this fact, it is safe to expect that star clusters should contain several OB stars, which are hot and massive stars of spectra type O and early type B, that would become type II supernovae eventually.

We are also interested in the potential link between the total number of type II supernova remnants and the star formation rate (SFR) in certain galaxies. The two galaxies we have selected are the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a galaxy about 60 kpc away of which we have plenty of data at hand, and M33, a.k.a. the Triangulum Galaxy, a spiral galaxy about 700 kpc away of which we have data from GALAX and WIYN telescopes.

large magellanic cloud M33
Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) by Yuri Beletsky.
M33 a.k.a. Triangulum Galaxy by Subaru Telescope.

In addition to the research on type II supernovae, we have paid similar amount of attention to type Ia supernovae. Our expectation is that their total number should have a correlation with the total stellar mass of the galaxy where they are located.

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