We report on analysis using the JWST to identify a candidate progenitor star of the Type II-plateau (II-P) supernova SN 2022acko in the nearby, barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300. To our knowledge, our disco v ery represents the first time JWST has been used to localize a progenitor system in pre-explosion archi v al Hubble Space Telescope ( HST ) images. We astrometrically registered a JWST NIRCam image from 2023 January, in which the SN was serendipitously captured, to pre-SN HST F 160 W and F 814 W images from 2017 and 2004, respectively. An object corresponding precisely to the SN position has been isolated with reasonable confidence. That object has a spectral energy distribution (SED) and o v erall luminosity consistent with a single-star model having an initial mass possibly somewhat less than the canonical 8 M _theoretical threshold for core collapse (although masses as high as 9 M ⊙for the star are also possible); ho we ver, the star's SED and luminosity are inconsistent with that of a super-asymptotic giant branch star that might be a forerunner of an electron-capture SN. The properties of the progenitor alone imply that SN 2022acko is a relatively normal SN II-P, albeit most likely a low-luminosity one. The progenitor candidate should be confirmed with follow-up HST imaging at late times, when the SN has sufficiently faded. This potential use of JWST opens a new era of identifying SN progenitor candidates at high spatial resolution.
- stars: e volution -stars: massive -supernovae: general -supernov ae: indi vidual: SN 2022acko
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science