Studying ejection of matter from the dying star SN 2023ixf

Researchers have revealed the amount of material released from the supernova parent star SN 2023ixf, helping to better understand the evolution of massive stars. The ancestor of SN 2023ixf lost matter at a high rate, suggesting it may have been a yellow supergiant. A research team led by Dr. Zhang Ruijia of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor Wang Xiaofeng of Tsinghua University, observing supernova SN 2023ixf, revealed the amount of material ejected from the star’s progenitor. with enormous speed at the end of life. This could help understand the final evolution of massive stars.

SNe II supernovae are the most common stellar eruptions in the Universe, but the final stage of development of their giant hydrogen-rich progenitor remains a mystery – scenarios vary regarding the sequence of these stages. evolution and star formation lead to many of these rashes.

To establish a link between SN II flares and later stages of development of massive stars, it is necessary to record the first light signals of SN flares, i.e. spectral flares due to ionization. oxidation of surrounding materials caused by high temperature cooling. The energy of the ultraviolet photons of radiation travels through the shock wave. The latest explosion of SN 2023ixf in the galaxy Messier 101 (Pinwheel Galaxy) offers a rare opportunity to resolve this long-standing problem. Using observations and flash spectroscopy data obtained a few days after the supernova, researchers were able to place tight constraints on the properties of the material surrounding the supernova. They estimate that the ancestor of SN 2023ixf was losing matter at a mass loss rate of 6 x 10^-4 solar masses per year in the 2 to 3 years before the explosion. Nearby materials moving at 55 km/s form a compact shell with a radius of less than 7 × 10^14 cm from the ancestor.

Considering the high mass loss rate and relatively high stellar wind speed, as well as observational data obtained about two decades ago, the ancestor of SN 2023ixf may have been a yellow supergiant that evolved from a red supergiant just before the explosion. “Observation and search for SN 2023ixf continues. Dr. Zhang commented: This series of supernova studies will mark an important milestone in the history of SN II flare research and will help reveal the fate of giant stars with masses ranging from 10 to 20 times the mass of the Sun.