A nearby star ended its life as a Type Ic supernova. Two teams of astronomers pored through the archive of Hubble images to uncover the putative precursor star in pre-explosion photos taken in 2007.
"We were fortunate that the supernova was nearby and very bright, about 5 to 10 times brighter than other Type Ic supernovas, which may have made the progenitor easier to find," said Charles Kilpatrick of the University of California, Santa Cruz, leader of the second team.
Expectations on the identity of the progenitors of Type Ic supernovas have been a puzzle.
Type Ic supernovas are just one class of exploding star.
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On the other hand, the idea that every Type Ic supernova produces a gamma-ray burst, as proposed by Donald Q.
Lamb proposes that every Type Ic supernova produces a gamma-ray burst and a black hole.