We have confirmed that the precursor star of the unusual supernova 1954J (also known as Variable 12) in NGC 2403 survived what appears to have been a superoutburst, similar to the 1843 Great Eruption of η Carinae in the Galaxy. The apparent survivor has changed little in brightness and color over the last 8 years, and a Keck spectrum reveals characteristics broadly similar to those of η Car. This is further suggested by our identification of the actual outburst-surviving star in high-resolution images obtained with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope. We reveal this "supernova impostor" as a highly luminous (M V 0 ≈ -8.0 mag), very massive (M initial ≳ 25 M ⊙) eruptive star, now surrounded by a dusty (A V ≈ 4 mag) nebula, similar to η Car's famous Homunculus.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific|
|State||Published - Jun 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science