List of supernova candidates

This is a list of supernova candidates, or stars that astronomers have suggested are supernova progenitors. Type II supernova progenitors include stars with at least 10 solar masses that are in the final stages of their evolution. Prominent examples of stars in this mass range include Antares, Spica,[1] Gamma Velorum,[2] Mu Cephei, and members of the Quintuplet Cluster.[3] Type Ia supernova progenitors are white dwarf stars that are close to the Chandrasekhar limit of about 1.44 solar masses and are accreting matter from a binary companion star. The list includes massive Wolf–Rayet stars, which may become Type Ib/Ic supernovae.

Supernova progenitor candidates
Identifier Epoch J2000 Constellation Distance
(light years)
Possible supernova


R. A. Dec.
IK Pegasi  21h 26m 26.7s +19° 22′ 32″ Pegasus 154.4±1.0[4] A8m:/DA Ia [5][6][7]
Spica  13h 25m 11.6s −11° 09′ 40.8″ Virgo 250+14
B1 [7]
Alpha Lupi  14h 41m 55.8s –47° 23′ 17″ Lupus 465+12
B1.5 II [9][7]
Antares  16h 29m 24.5s –26° 25′ 55″ Scorpius 554+113
M1.5Iab-b IIP [10][7]
Betelgeuse  05h 55m 10.3s +07° 24′ 25″ Orion 720+160
M2Iab IIP [1][12][7]
Pi Puppis  07h 17m 08.6s –37° 05′ 51″ Puppis 807+72
K3 Ib II?
Rigel  05h 14m 32.3s –08° 12′ 06″ Orion 1118+30
B8Ia IIn(pec?) [13][7]
Gamma2 Velorum  08h 09m 32.0s −47° 20′ 12″ Vela 1120+130
WC8 Ib/Ic [14]
Deneb  20h 41m 25.9s +45° 16′ 49″ Cygnus 1410+230
A2la IIL
119 Tauri  05h 32m 12.8s +18° 35′ 40″ Taurus 1790+300
M2Iab-Ib IIb
T Coronae Borealis  15h 59m 30.2s +25° 55′ 13″ Corona Borealis 2690+110
M3III/D Ia [15]
KPD 1930+2752  19h 32m 14.9s +27° 58′ 35″ Cygnus 2860+130
sdB/D Ia [nb 1][16][17]
Rho Cassiopeiae  23h 54m 23.0s +57° 29′ 58″ Cassiopeia 3440+930
G2Ia0e IIL [18]
VY Canis Majoris  07h 22m 58.3s −25° 46′ 03″ Canis Major 3930+420
M5eIa II [12][20]
IRAS 17163-3907  17h 19m 49.3s −39° 10′ 37.9″ Scorpius 3930+990
late B/early A II [21]
Wray 17-96  17h 41m 35.4s –30° 06′ 39″ Scorpius 3940+1110
HD 168625  18h 21m 19.5s −16° 22′ 26″ Sagittarius 5250+600
B6Ia II [22]
NML Cygni  20h 46m 25.6s +40° 06′ 59.4″ Cygnus 5250+420
M6I II [24]
IRC +10420  19h 26m 48.1s +11° 21′ 17″ Aquila 5600+2200
F8Ia+ IIb [25][26]
WR 142  20h 21m 44.3s +37° 22′ 31″ Cygnus 5670+290
WO2 Ib/Ic
Mu Cephei  21h 43m 30.5s +58° 46′ 48″ Cepheus 5900+3400
M2Ia IIn/IIb [27]
WR 136  20h 12m 06.5s +38° 21′ 18″ Cygnus 6700+500
WN6(h)-s Ic
RS Ophiuchi  17h 50m 13.2s –06° 42′ 28″ Ophiuchus 7380+1000
M2III/D Ia [28][29]
Eta Carinae  10h 45m 03.6s −59° 41′ 04″ Carina 8630+69
LBV/O Ib [30][31]
WR 93b  17h 32m 03.3s −35° 04′ 32″ Scorpius 8700+1900
WO3 Ib/Ic
WR 102  17h 45m 47.5s −26° 10′ 27″ Sagittarius 9410+840
WO2 Ib/Ic
P Cygni  20h 17m 47.2s +38° 01′ 59″ Cygnus 10200+10200
B1Ia+ IIp
HD 179821  19h 13m 58.6s +00° 07′ 32″ Aquila 10500+2100
G5Ia IIL [32][33]
T Pyxidis  09h 04m 41.5s −32° 22′ 48″ Pyxis 10700+1700
Ia [34][35]
WR 104  18h 02m 04.1s –23° 37′ 41″ Sagittarius 13400+9200
WC9d/OB Ib/Ic with Grb? [36][37]
V445 Puppis  07h 37m 56.9s –25° 56′ 59″ Puppis 16000+5200
Ia [39]
WR 30a  10h 51m 38.9s −60° 56′ 35.2″ Carina 38900+18500
U Scorpii  16h 22m 30.7s –17° 52′ 42″ Scorpius 39000 WO4/O5((f)) Ia [40]
Sher 25  11h 15m 07.8s −61° 15′ 17″ Carina 43500+5200
B1.5Iab [41]
LMC195-1  05h 18m 10.3s −69° 13′ 03″ Dorado 160000[4] WO2 Ib/Ic
SMC AB8  01h 31m 04.1s −73° 25′ 04″ Hydrus 200000[4] WO4/O4 Ib/Ic


  1. ^ The Kitt Peak Downes star.


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HD 179821

HD 179821 is a yellow supergiant star in the constellation of Aquila, surrounded by a detached dust shell. It is a semi-regular variable and either a moderate-mass post-AGB star or distant massive yellow hypergiant among the largest known stars.

Lists of stars

The following are lists of stars. These are astronomical objects that spend some portion of their existence generating energy through thermonuclear fusion.

NGC 5177

NGC 5177 is a galaxy. Based on a redshift of 6467 km/s the galaxy is crudely estimated to be about 300 million light-years away.

Near-Earth supernova

A near-Earth supernova is an explosion resulting from the death of a star that occurs close enough to the Earth (roughly less than 10 to 300 parsecs (30 to 1000 light-years) away) to have noticeable effects on Earth's biosphere.

Historically, each near-Earth supernova explosion has been associated with a global warming of around 3–4 °C. An estimated 20 supernovae explosions have happened within 300 pc of the Earth over the last 11 million years. Type II supernovae explosions are expected to occur in active star-forming regions, with 12 such OB associations being located within 650 pc of the Earth. At present, there are six near-Earth supernova candidates within 300 pc.

Outline of astronomy

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to astronomy:

Astronomy – studies the universe beyond Earth, including its formation and development, and the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects (such as galaxies, planets, etc.) and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth (such as the cosmic background radiation).

SN 1006

SN 1006 was a supernova that is likely the brightest observed stellar event in recorded history, reaching an estimated −7.5 visual magnitude, and exceeding roughly sixteen times the brightness of Venus. Appearing between April 30 and May 1, 1006 AD in the constellation of Lupus, this "guest star" was described by observers across the modern day countries of China, Japan, Iraq, Egypt, and the continent of Europe, and possibly recorded in North American petroglyphs. Some reports state it was clearly visible in the daytime. Modern astronomers now consider its distance from Earth to be about 7,200 light-years.

SN 185

SN 185 was a transient astronomical event observed in AD 185, likely a supernova. The transient occurred in the direction of Alpha Centauri, between the constellations Circinus and Centaurus, centered at RA 14h 43m Dec −62° 30′, in Circinus. This "guest star" was observed by Chinese astronomers in the Book of Later Han (后汉书), and might have been recorded in Roman literature. It remained visible in the night sky for eight months. This is believed to be the first supernova for which records exist.

The Book of Later Han gives the following description:

In the 2nd year of the epoch Zhongping [中平], the 10th month, on the day Kwei Hae [December 7], a strange star appeared in the middle of Nan Mun [asterism containing Alpha Centauri], It was like a large bamboo mat. It displayed various colors, both pleasing and otherwise. It gradually lessened. In the 6th month of the succeeding year it disappeared.

The gaseous shell RCW 86 is probably the supernova remnant of this event and has a relatively large angular size of roughly 45 arc minutes (larger than the apparent size of the full moon, which varies from 29 to 34 arc minutes). The distance to RCW 86 is estimated to be 2,800 parsecs (9,100 light-years). Recent X-ray studies show a good match for the expected age.Infrared observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) reveal how the supernova occurred and how its shattered remains ultimately spread out to great distances. The findings show that the stellar explosion took place in a hollowed-out cavity, allowing material expelled by the star to travel much faster and farther than it would have otherwise.Differing modern interpretations of the Chinese records of the guest star have led to quite different suggestions for the astronomical mechanism behind the event, from a core-collapse supernova to a distant, slow-moving comet – with correspondingly wide-ranging estimates of its apparent visual magnitude (−8 to +4). The recent Chandra results suggest that it was most likely a Type Ia supernova (a type with consistent absolute magnitude), and therefore similar to Tycho's Supernova (SN 1572), which had apparent magnitude −4 at a similar distance.

SN 1987A

SN 1987A was a peculiar type II supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy satellite of the Milky Way. It occurred approximately 51.4 kiloparsecs (168,000 light-years) from Earth and was the closest observed supernova since Kepler's Supernova, visible from earth in 1604. 1987A's light reached Earth on February 23, 1987, and as the first supernova discovered that year, was labeled "1987A". Its brightness peaked in May, with an apparent magnitude of about 3.

It was the first opportunity for modern astronomers to study the development of a supernova in great detail, and its observations have provided much insight into core-collapse supernovae.

SN 1987A provided the first chance to confirm by direct observation the radioactive source of the energy for visible light emissions, by detecting predicted gamma-ray line radiation from two of its abundant radioactive nuclei. This proved the radioactive nature of the long-duration post-explosion glow of supernovae.

SN 2008D

SN 2008D is a supernova detected with NASA's Swift X-ray telescope. The explosion of the supernova precursor star, in the spiral galaxy NGC 2770 (88 million light years away (27 Mpc), was detected on January 9, 2008, by Carnegie-Princeton fellows Alicia Soderberg and Edo Berger, and Albert Kong and Tom Maccarone independently using Swift. They alerted eight other orbiting and ground-based observatories to record the event. This was the first time that astronomers have ever observed a supernova as it occurred.The supernova was determined to be of Type Ibc. The velocities measured from SN2008D indicated expansion rates of more than 10,000 kilometers per second. The explosion was off-center, with gas on one side of the explosion moving outward faster than on the other. This was the first time the X-ray emission pattern of a supernova (which only lasted about five minutes) was captured at the moment of its birth. Now that it is known what X-ray pattern to look for, the next generation of X-ray satellites is expected to find hundreds of supernovae every year exactly when they explode, which will allow searches for neutrino and gravitational wave bursts that are predicted to accompany the collapse of stellar cores and the birth of neutron stars.

SN 2009gj

SN 2009gj was a supernova located approximately 60 million light years away from Earth. It was discovered on June 20, 2009, by New Zealand amateur astronomer and dairy farmer Stuart Parker.

WR 102

WR 102 is a Wolf–Rayet star in the constellation Sagittarius, an extremely rare star on the WO oxygen sequence. It is a luminous and very hot star, highly evolved and close to exploding as a supernova.

WR 142

WR 142 is a Wolf-Rayet star in the constellation Cygnus, an extremely rare star on the WO oxygen sequence. It is a luminous and very hot star, highly evolved and close to exploding as a supernova. It is suspected to be a binary star with a companion orbiting about 1 AU away.

WR 30a

WR 30a is a massive spectroscopic binary in the constellation Carina. The primary is an extremely rare star on the WO oxygen sequence and the secondary a massive class O star.

WR 93b

WR 93b is a Wolf-Rayet star in the constellation Scorpius, an extremely rare star on the WO oxygen sequence.

Physics of

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